ESPN.com and the TrueHoop Network are ranking every NBA player — and counting them down on Twitter (@NBAonESPN), from number 500 to number 1. As the rankings are announced, you can also find them on ESPN.com. ESPN asked 104 experts to rate each player on a 0-10 scale.
This time last year, Chandler Parsons was ranked number 460 on the list. How one season can change everything about a player, Parsons has leapfrogged 308 spots all the way to number 152. Nobody expected Chandler, who was a second round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, to make the type of impact that he did.
The Houston Rockets drafted Marcus Morris with the 14th overall pick in the 2011 draft and already had Chase Budinger. These two guys play the same position as Parsons. The starting job was supposed to be Budinger’s with Morris backing him up. But Morris was sent down to the D-League and Parsons stripped Budinger of his starting job and ran with it.
Parsons played in 63 games while starting 57 of them. He averaged 9.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals in 28 minutes a game. He shot fantastic from the field, shooting 45%. Parsons did struggle from downtown, shooting just 33%, but that’s expected from a rookie who is so use to shooting from a shorter distance from three in college. I expect Parsons to work hard on long range shooting this offseason and add it to his offensive arsenal next season.
Chandler is already the defensive leader for the Rockets. He’s earned lots of praise from guys like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant for being such a tenacious defender. Starting next season I think he has a chance of averaging 2 steals and a block a game. His length is very frustrating for his opponent, not to mention his athletic ability. He can run players down, has quick hands and is tough on his opponent.
Parsons has the potential to one day make an All-Star team if he continues to improve on both sides of the court. This time next year he will be within the top 100 players on ESPN’S Player Rankings.