The short answer: Keep searching for a starting small forward.
“I tell you, we’ve got a lot of greaseboards in that office up there with lots of different scenarios,” Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. “I can’t tell you which scenario is going pan out, but one of them is going to pan out. We will have a small forward with the Mavericks next year. Guaranteed.”
The Mavs will stay in contact with the agents of Trevor Ariza and Luol Deng, the two unrestricted free agents on Dallas’ Plan B tier of small forwards. They’ll also keep in touch with the representatives of Plan C small forwards Paul Pierce and Shawn Marion. Same with Lance Stephenson and so on.
Of course, the agents for those players will actively pursue deals with other teams during the three-day timetable the Rockets have to make their decision on Parsons. There are several teams in the market for small forwards, so there is a chance the market could be picked pretty thin by Sunday night.
Maybe the Mavs, with no leverage, are left to look through the leftovers Monday. The Dallas decision-makers will hope for the best with the Parsons situation and do everything possible to prepare to avoid the worst if that doesn’t work out.
“We have some pretty good ones in the mix now, too,” Nelson said. “Our worst-case scenario is give young Jae Crowder an opportunity.”