Ariza To Rockets; Mavs Wonder: Parsons, Too?

Trevor Ariza will sign a four-year, $32-million contract with the Rockets, a move that takes Ariza off Dallas' post-Parsons options but doesn't at all necessarily mean Houston will allow Parsons to flee to the Mavs. The details on the spinning cogs:

It would be so simple if the Rockets signing of Trevor Ariza to a four-year, $32-million deal automatically meant Houston has secured its starting small forward and now will not match the Dallas Mavericks' $15-mil-a-year offer sheet to Chandler Parsons.

After all, they are both small forwards! And $8 mil this year on Ariza and $15 mil this year on Parsons is too much on the same position! And surely the Rockets would prefer future cap flex to present talent!

Well, no. And no. And no. Not necessarily.

We predicted on Friday afternoon, based on CBA machinations, that Houston would 1) trade for room, 2) spend some of the millions earmarked for the failed Chris Bosh bid and 3) match on Parsons.

So far, two out of three.

Houston entered the weekend with its Chandler Parsons cap hold of $2,875,130 and $16,097,702 worth of spending money. ... money they must spend before Parsons is matched at midnight ... If they so choose.

There is a great deal of speculation about Houston's intentions here, not all of it educated. Certainly the Rockets sit on this for awhile, keeping Dallas "frozen'' in a way ... and definitely frozen out of getting Ariza. We don't really need "sources'' to tell us Houston is considering matching; with a restricted FA and the deadline not until 10:59 p.m. Sunday Texas time ... why wouldn't they mull it over?

Entering the weekend Dallas had other options (we detail them pretty precisely here) but as time goes by more of those will vanish.

One of those still available, Lance Stephenson, "is on our list,'' Mavs owner Mark Cuban told reporters Saturday in Las Vegas.

"We're exploring a lot of options, a lot of different people,'' Cuban said. "Hopefully the Rockets won't match and that changes what we're able to do.''

As we wrote Friday: We figured out how Houston can acquire a star AND keep Parsons. The Mavs, maybe thinking with their hearts, don't think they will. But generally speaking, we think it'd be great if the Mavs found a way to sign two stars in one weekend.

The Rockets can do just that ... leaving the Mavs to sign zero stars in one weekend.

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