News broke yesterday indicating that Richaun Holmes has a labral tear in need of a re-evaluation in two to three weeks. Needless to say, the Kings are in desperate need of healthy big men.
The combination of Bagley being some ways away from returning to the court, trading away Dewayne Dedmon, and Alex Len slated to miss tonight’s contest against Dallas, a return from a healthy Jabari Parker couldn’t come at a better time for the Kings.
Parker, who hasn’t played since January 3rd, is hopeful to make his Sacramento Kings debut against the Mavericks. The Kings have been relying heavily on Nemanja Bjelica and Harry Giles to hold down the big man positions along with help from a committee of undersized players.
Parker was on the Kings’ radar in the 2018 offseason before signing with the Chicago Bulls, but now, the organization has their coveted man.
After being moved at last year’s trade deadline as well, Parker signed with the Hawks on a 2-year, $13 million contract this past summer. He performed well with the Hawks in his 32 games this season, averaging 15 points a game on 50% shooting along with 6 boards.
Parker is an undersized four who uses his skill to make up for his lack of size. Even though he scores the ball extremely well close to the basket (shooting 66% from less than 8 feet), Parker struggles with his jump-shot (30%) and is shooting 27% from three point range.
Just like his shooting ability, Jabari isn’t known for his defense either. He holds an atrocious defensive rating of 116.5 on the year and opponents are shooting 51% against him overall this season and 66% on shots less than 10 feet from the basket.
But perhaps all Jabari needs is some consistency as the Kings are his fifth team in the last three years. The soon-to-be 25 year-old can easily find a place in Sacramento to nestle himself into this franchise’s young core of the future.
Contrasting the shadow of two separate ACL injuries in his career, he is, in fact, only four seasons removed from a season where he averaged 20 points a game.
Parker is definitely a high risk, high reward type of player, but the Kings are used to power forwards from Duke with injury problems— yes, that’s a direct allusion to Harry Giles and Marvin Bagley.
Of course, Walton will need to utilize Parker to the best of his abilities to really see the full potential of the former number two overall pick.
It will be exciting to see if Parker takes the floor tonight and hopefully it will be the first game in a long and illustrious Kings career. Perhaps that’s wishful thinking, but it can only go up from here.