Here’s an interesting scenario. This summer, the Rockets have the choice of picking up Chandler Parsons’ option and having him play for $960,000 before hitting unrestricted free agency a year from now, or else declining the option and making him a restricted free agent immediately. As an RFA, Parsons’ rights will be controlled by the Rockets, who will be able to match any offer he receives this summer. They’ll pay him more and sooner by declining, but eliminate any chance of him walking as a free agent. More from Adrian Wojnarowski:

For the Rockets, there are two distinct advantages to letting Parsons into restricted free agency now. First, Houston is determined to clear the necessary salary cap space this summer to chase a third maximum contract free agent to join Dwight Howard andJames Harden, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.

 

Houston plans to pursue the major stars who could be available upon opting out of deals, including Miami’s LeBron James and Chris Bosh, and New York’s Carmelo Anthony, league sources said. Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki is expected to be a target too.

 

The Rockets are pursuing Minnesota’s Kevin Love in trade talks too, and Parsons could hold sign-and-trade possibilities.

 

In one scenario, Houston could secure three max-out players – including Howard, Harden and a potential star free agent – and then re-sign Parsons to an extension below the max-level range. Parsons could command in the $12 million to $13 million annual range, league executives tell Yahoo Sports.

 

For Houston too, there’s little motivation to let agent Dan Fegan get Parsons into the summer of 2015 as an unrestricted free agent. Rockets officials fear Fegan’s ability to score Parsons a monster contract on the open market. This way, Houston declines the team option now, clearing the way for Parsons to get a bigger payday a year sooner than scheduled. Ultimately, this could be a better climate for Houston to negotiate an extension with Parsons.