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Chandler Parsons' suitors could include T'wolves, Lakers, Bulls, Mavs, along with Rockets

Marc J. Spears
Yahoo Sports
NBA: Playoffs-Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets
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Apr 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons (25) reacts to making a three-pointer during the third quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. (Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports)

Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons, one of the NBA's most underpaid players, can expect to land a big payday after he becomes a restricted free agent next week.

The Rockets will decline the $964,750 option on Parsons' rookie contract. As a restricted free agent, Parsons won't lack for attention on the market, but the Rockets are allowed to match any offer he receives.

"When I got drafted in the second round, I signed the four-year deal and everyone has to go through their rookie scale," Parsons told Yahoo Sports. "It was all part of the process. I obviously thought I deserved more. But I never was bitter or jealous of anyone making more than me. I was just fortunate enough to do this for a living."

The Rockets are interested in re-signing Parsons, league sources said, but his future could also be affected by what happens to Golden State Warriors forward Klay Thompson and New York Knicks free-agent forward Carmelo Anthony.

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Chandler Parsons averaged 16.6 points for the Rockets last season. (Getty Images)

Chandler Parsons averaged 16.6 points for the Rockets last season. (Getty Images)

The Minnesota Timberwolves are still interested in acquiring Thompson in a blockbuster trade that would send All-Star forward Kevin Love to the Warriors, a source said. But the T'wolves also have secondary interest in Parsons, the source said. If the Thompson trade doesn't happen, the source said Minnesota could attempt a deal sending Love to the Rockets and acquire Parsons in a sign-and-trade. The Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks have primary interest in signing Anthony as a free agent, but also could chase Parsons if they don't, a source said.

Parsons, 25, averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and four assists while shooting 37 percent from 3-point range for the Rockets last season. Versatile at 6-foot-9, Parsons could be the best small forward available in free agency after LeBron James and Anthony. He also can play power forward in small lineups.

Parsons made $926,500 in the third year of his rookie contract last season. The Rockets' move allows Parsons to get a much bigger salary a year earlier and gives Houston salary-cap space flexibility to go after Anthony or James in free agency while still being able to match any offer sheet Parsons signs.

"I feel like I'm in a win-win situation because it's happening a year early," Parsons said. "I think a lot of teams could be interested. With the way I play and my versatility, I feel I can pretty much help any team."

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