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Grizzlies’ Bickerstaff comments on Chandler Parsons’ potential return

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff says Chandler Parsons will be treated like any other player amid reports that the forward will rejoin his teammates after the All-Star break.

The comments come a month after general manager Chris Wallace said Parsons had chosen to continue his rehabilitation in Los Angeles, putting his future with Memphis in doubt.

Bickerstaff said Saturday at morning shoot-around that when Parsons comes back, “he’s a part of the team like anybody else.” Bickerstaff added, “he’s still a part of the team and we’ll treat him that way.”

Parsons, who has had knee issues, told ESPN he is “ready to get back to Memphis and help my team win any way I can.”

The 30-year-old forward remains on Memphis’ roster after the Grizzlies made three different trades at the deadline Thursday, dealing away Marc Gasol, Garrett Temple, JaMychal Green and Shelvin Mack. Memphis also waived Omri Casspi.

Parsons last played for Memphis on Oct. 22, going scoreless in just over six minutes in a win at Utah. Now the Grizzlies have lost four of their last six and are 22-34 overall, ahead of only Phoenix in the Western Conference.

He has played three games in the third season of the four-year, $94 million contract he signed in July 2016. Limited by injuries, he played a combined 70 games over the first two seasons of that contract, but his agent told The Commercial Appeal on Dec. 28 that Parsons had been cleared and was ready to play.

Wallace said Jan. 6 that team officials had talked with Parsons and his agent numerous times about his rehab and how to “integrate a healthy and effective Chandler” back on the court, with options including a three-game stint with the G-League’s Memphis Hustle. Wallace said Parsons chose to continue rehabilitation in Los Angeles and that the Grizzlies would monitor his progress.

Parsons was the Grizzlies’ big free agent signee in July 2016, with Memphis believing it finally had the 3-point threat the team has lacked for years. Parsons has been nothing but a disappointment, suffering injury after injury. Before signing with Memphis, Parsons had never played fewer than 61 games in a season during stints in Houston and Dallas.