Ex-Florida Gators Chandler Parsons out indefinitely with tear in knee

Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons warms up before an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Monday, March 6, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

Chandler Parsons’ quest to validate his four-year, $94 million deal with the Memphis Grizzlies is on an indefinite hold.

Memphis announced Monday that Parsons is out indefinitely with a partial meniscus tear in his left knee. The former Florida Gators star saw his last two seasons cut short by surgeries on his right knee.

The Grizzlies are still evaluating to determine “the appropriate course of action,” but sources told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon that Parsons “will likely undergo season-ending surgery.”

“To suffer a setback like this after working so diligently to rebound from the injury to his right knee is obviously tough,” Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said in a statement. “That said, we know he will continue to work tirelessly to return to the court with his teammates and contribute.”

Parsons hasn’t performed anywhere near his normal level. He’s admitted as much himself.

He was shooting career-worst rates from the field (33.8 percent) and from three (26.9). His vast list of personal lows included 6.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 19.9 minutes.

He had hybrid micro-fracture surgery on his right knee in May 2014, then a meniscus repair less than 12 months later. The Dallas Mavericks opted not to re-sign him last summer, instead giving the same max deal to Harrison Barnes.

Parsons missed the first six games of this season and had his minutes managed throughout.

His left knee began bothering him after his debut, and he missed a month with a bone bruise after only six appearances.

His four-year run with the Gators culminated with the 2010-11 SEC Player of the Year award. The Houston Rockets drafted him 38th overall in 2011, and he spent his first three NBA seasons there before signing in Dallas.

Entering this season, he owned career averages of 14.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

Ex-Gator Chandler Parsons struggling in first year of $94M contract

Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons (25) and guard Mike Conley (11) stand on the court between plays in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

On a scale of one to 10, Chandler Parsons’ 2016-17 season has been horrendous.

That’s a self-assessment, by the way.

“I suck right now,” the former Florida Gator told ESPN. “There’s no sugarcoating it. It is what it is. I’m just going to continue to work, continue to grind.”

There’s no better place to do that than on the grit-and-grind Memphis Grizzlies, but the amount of work needed is staggering.

Parsons is in the first season of a four-year, $94 million contract, and he’s never played worse.

Every relevant statistical category has plummeted to a personal worst, including 6.2 points and 1.6 assists in only 19.8 minutes a night. His 34.0 field-goal percentage — more than 11 points below his previous low — ranks 320th among the 323 players who have logged at least 500 minutes. His 7.6 player efficiency rating ranks ahead of only seven players averaging at least 15 minutes, none of whom will earn one-third of his $22.1 million salary.

“I understand as a sports fan you want production,” Parsons said of being booed on his home floor. “You see the contract I signed with the salary I make. People expect a lot better than I’m performing right now. That’s natural, and that’s how it goes.”

The lavish lifestyle he leads on social media probably hasn’t done him any favors in his new blue-collar market. To that end, he has vowed to silence his activity there for the rest of the season.

But his on-court performance is the much greater concern. There’s a possibility this isn’t simply a slump, but rather his new norm.

Since 2015, he has had two knee surgeries and missed a month this season with a bone bruise in his other knee. The 28-year-old’s athleticism has taken a noticeable hit, and there’s no telling whether the damage might be permanent.

Parsons played for the Gators from 2007 to 2011, earning SEC Player of the Year honors as a senior. He was drafted 38th overall in 2011 and owns career averages of 13.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists over five-plus seasons with the Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets.