GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Chandler Parsons had 269 assists for the Houston Rockets last season.
But none were bigger than the offseason ones he's been dishing the last few weeks.
Parsons, the former Florida Gators star and 2011 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, is being hailed as one of the chief facilitators behind Dwight Howard's decision to bolt the Los Angeles Lakers and sign a four-year, $88 million contract with the Houston Rockets.
In fact, according to FORBES, “no one [was] more responsible” for the Howard deal, with Parsons having formed something of a bond with the former Orlando Magic star after joining on with Howard’s agent Dan Fegan this offseason.
“Chandler was relentless,” a source told FORBES. “He called and texted [Howard] every day, even face-timed and would answer every question Dwight could potentially have. We would drive to his house in the hills and talk to him. Basically Chandler Parsons recruited him like Nick Saban and a 5-star defensive tackle; they hardly knew each other at beginning of process.”
After Howard made his decision official Friday, @ChandlerParsons tweeted out the following (see below):
Everybody welcome my boy @DwightHoward to the @HoustonRockets!! #NEWAGE
In Houston, Howard will join a frontcourt that already features All-Star forward James Harden, who averaged 25.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game, plus Parsons, who checked in at 15.5, 5.3 and 3.5, respectively.
The Rockets also have incumbent 7-foot center Omer Asik (10.1 ppg, 11.7 rpg) under contract, though Asik has asked to be traded.
Wonder of Parsons can find a place for him ... or better yet, talk Asik into sticking around.