Denver's competitors in the Western Conference keep adding pieces. Reports have surfaced confirming Chandler Parsons has agreed to sign a 4-year max deal with the Memphis Grizzlies once such signings are allowed:
Chandler Parsons agrees to a 4-year max contract w/ Grizzlies worth a projected $94.8 million. (via @espn_macmahon) pic.twitter.com/GilKTutlyK— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 1, 2016
What does that mean for Denver? In addition to Parsons bolstering the offense of new head coach and former Heat assistant David Fizdale it also hurts the Nuggets in next year's draft. Mike Conley is still meeting with the Dallas Mavericks, but if he also returns to Memphis that's a double-blow to the idea of a Grizzlies' rebuild and instead puts them back in the playoff conversation. Since Denver owns the first round draftpick of the Grizzlies if it lands outside the top-5, that significantly hurts the value of that pick.
If Memphis had been passed over by major free agents and Conley had departed, the pick might have fallen in the mid-to-late lottery. Instead it's looking more like the Portland pick that Denver used this year to select Malik Beasley at #19.
A healthy trio of Gasol, Conley and Parsons also makes for one more team the Nuggets have to compete against / climb over to get to a playoff spot this year. With that being Denver's goal for the immediate future it's frustrating to see another challenger add the necessary pieces to compete. It's not a complete lock that Conley comes back, but with rumors that Conley has been recruiting Parsons to Memphis for the last year it looks almost certain:
Since Mike Conley co-chaired Memphis' Chandler Parsons recruiting along with J.B. Bickerstaff, you can safely assume Conley is staying there— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 1, 2016
The only real bright side to this is that Conley will likely not go to Dallas and the Mavericks may be the team that falls out of contention in a rebuilding year. Other than that, things just got a little more difficult both within the division and in getting the necessary high draftpicks to build for the future.