Dallas Mavericks could be set to contend for NBA title with Chandler Parsons

Mark Cuban

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has made two major moves during the free agency period.

The Dallas Mavericks made one of the biggest moves of the free agency period so far, signing small forward Chandler Parsons to a monster three-year, $45 million contract.

The Mavericks were forced to overpay to lure Parsons away from the Houston Rockets, who viewed him as as a cornerstone in a potentially championship-calibre roster.

In the end it was sheer luck that saw the Mavericks get their man. They missed out on marquee free agents LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, and could easily have ended up empty-handed if the Rockets had managed to sign Chris Bosh.

Bosh was on the verge of signing with the Rockets before the Miami Heat offered him a max deal to stay in South Beach. If Bosh had gone to Houston, the Rockets would have matched Parsons' Dallas offer sheet in order to put together a team that could win an NBA championship.

Without Bosh, however, Houston did not feel that they could put together a title contending team, and they elected to sign Trevor Ariza and to let Parsons leave, allowing them to maintain salary cap flexibility for the future.

That move may come back to haunt them, as the Mavericks could easily leapfrog the Rockets next season.

Dallas' performance against the San Antonio Spurs in the first round last season was one of most underrated playoff storylines. The Mavericks played out a seven-game series against what turned out to be by far the best team in the NBA.

The Spurs easily dispatched the Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat in an incredible championship run, but what was forgotten was how close the Mavericks came to upsetting the West's number-one seed.

With the additions of Parsons and Tyson Chandler, Dallas may be ready to contend in 2014-15.

Parsons provides the Mavericks with an elite perimeter defender to pair with the scoring of Monta Ellis. Shawn Marion has filled that role in recent years, but Parsons' superior scoring ability and athleticism makes him a clear upgrade at small forward.

At just 25 years of age, the Mavericks will have Parsons locked up for the best years of his career. After Dirk Nowitzki retires, Dallas will have at least one piece in place to build a playoff-caliber roster.

Chandler, meanwhile, could turn out to be an even more important addition than Parsons. He was crucial to Dallas's title-winning run in 2011, and he remains an elite defensive big man when healthy. The 31-year-old has experience of playing with Nowitzki and complements the German's high-post game perfectly, and he should still be able to run the pick-and-roll with Ellis at a high level.

The Mavericks have a good blend of playoff-hardened veterans and exciting young players, and their roster is built similar to the 2014 champion Spurs. With their new additions, Nowitzki, and the excellent coaching of Rick Carlisle, it is not out of the realms of possibility that Dallas will make it to the Western Conference Finals and beyond in 2015.