Jabari Parker

Kings’ Jabari Parker Opting In For 2020/21

Kings forward Jabari Parker is exercising his player option for the 2020/21 season, postponing free agency for another year, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). The option will pay Parker a guaranteed $6.5MM salary.

Parker, the No. 2 pick in the 2014 draft, started the 2019/20 season with the Hawks before being sent to Sacramento in a deadline trade. He had been averaging 15.0 PPG and 6.0 RPG in 26.2 minutes per contest (32 games) in Atlanta, but saw his role significant reduced with the Kings, recording 8.5 PPG and 3.8 RPG in just 13.3 MPG (six games).

Although Parker is a solid scorer, he’s not a great outside shooter or defender, limiting his value in an era when every team is seeking three-and-D wings. It’s unlikely he would have matched or exceeded his $6.5MM option salary in free agency. He’ll reach the open market in 2021.

[RELATED: NBA Player Option Decisions For 2020/21]

While Parker’s option decision guarantees his 2020/21 salary, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll spend the entire year in Sacramento. New Kings GM Monte McNair could shop the 25-year-old’s expiring contract in trade discussions this month or before the 2021 deadline.

And-Ones: Morris Twins, Expansion, J. Grant, Hampton

Almost exactly a year ago, the Morris twins – Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris – changed agencies, signing with Roc Nation Sports for representation. However, with the two veteran forwards on the verge of free agency, Roc Nation won’t be the agency repping them this fall.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter), the Morris twins have signed with agent Chafie Fields of Wasserman for representation. Fields is one of a small handful of agents who represents both NFL and NBA clients.

It’s not necessarily the best offseason to be reaching free agency, as few teams around the NBA will have cap room available, but the Morris twins should do pretty well on the open market. Marcus is coming off a productive season with the Knicks and Clippers, while Markieff played a role in helping the Lakers win a title last month.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • One sports business expert who spoke to Jabari Young of CNBC predicted that the NBA may revisit the idea of expansion in the coming years in an effort to offset the financial losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “Seattle and Las Vegas are by far the two most likely markets for various reasons,” said Patrick Rishe, the director of the sports business program at Washington University in St. Louis. “Today, if it was two teams, you’re talking over $1 billion that would be shared, and those two new expansion teams will not get their share of media revenues at the beginning.”
  • Using his new metric BORD$, John Hollinger of The Athletic evaluated the values of this year’s free agent small forwards and power forwards. Unsurprisingly, Brandon Ingram and Anthony Davis grade out as the top forwards. Derrick Jones, Jabari Parker, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are among the players rated highly by Hollinger’s formula, while Nuggets forward Jerami Grant is dubbed by Hollinger to be “probably the most overrated player” on this year’s free agent market.
  • In a conversation with Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, draft prospect RJ Hampton discussed spending last year in New Zealand, his preparation for the 2020 draft, and why he’s modeling his offensive game after Zach LaVine.

Pacific Notes: Morris Twins, Barnes, Suns, Noah, More

There are a few players who showed up on the list of official rosters released on Monday by the NBA who still haven’t reported to the Walt Disney World campus. However, more players continue to arrive by the day.

According to Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register (Twitter link), Clippers forward Marcus Morris is at the team’s Tuesday morning practice today, having reported to the campus and cleared his quarantine period. His twin brother Markieff Morris will be joining the Lakers soon, Marcus tells Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets that Markieff is expected to arrive at the campus today and will begin his initial quarantine.

Meanwhile, Kings forward Harrison Barnes, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, could depart for Orlando as soon as today if he returns one more negative coronavirus test, Spears reports (via Twitter).

Finally, Ricky Rubio, Aron Baynes, Elie Okobo, and Jalen Lecque didn’t make the initial trip to Orlando two weeks ago with the Suns and still hadn’t practiced with the club as of Sunday, sources tell Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. A pair of Suns players tested positive for the coronavirus nearly a month ago, but it’s not clear if any or all of the delayed arrivals are related to COVID-19.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Kings forward Jabari Parker and center Alex Len spoke to reporters on Monday about their experiences with COVID-19, as Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee details. Len, who said he temporarily lost his sense of smell and taste while dealing with the virus, tested positive for 24 consecutive days before eventually returning multiple negative tests and being cleared.
  • Clippers big man Joakim Noah has benefited from the NBA’s hiatus, which gave him more time to get fully healthy after suffering an Achilles injury, writes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Noah’s new teammates are impressed by what they’ve seen so far from the veteran center. “He’s just bringing that energy every day,” guard Rodney McGruder said. “That’s something that I’m learning from him, and it’s just the intensity and just the persistence that he plays with on the defensive end, how you always hear his voice. He’s always yelling, he’s always talking.”
  • Ethan Strauss of The Athletic identifies the wings in this year’s draft class that he thinks would fit best with the Warriors, including Isaac Okoro, Aaron Nesmith, and Saddiq Bey.

Kings’ Holmes Quarantining On Campus For Eight More Days

Kings center Richaun Holmes announced today on Twitter that he “briefly and accidentally crossed the NBA campus line” in order to pick up a food delivery following the initial quarantine period. As a result, Holmes is subject to a new 10-day quarantine period — he indicated in his statement that he has eight days left.

Holmes is the second player known to have violated the NBA’s campus protocols, joining Rockets forward Bruno Caboclo. Today’s report on Caboclo suggested that he left his room during the initial quarantine period, whereas it sounds like Holmes inadvertently left the campus. In each case, the player must quarantine for 10 more days before resuming basketball activities.

The Kings are scheduled to participate in their first inter-squad scrimmage on July 22 vs. the Heat. Holmes’ quarantine period will have just ended at that point, so he may not be ready to play right away. Presumably he’ll be good to go by the time Sacramento’s first seeding game takes place on July 31 vs. San Antonio.

While the Kings will be missing Holmes for the next eight days, they did get some good news on Sunday. Head coach Luke Walton told reporters – including Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link) – that Buddy Hield and Jabari Parker had reported to Walt Disney World and begun their quarantines. Both players previously tested positive for COVID-19 but were medically cleared to travel to Orlando.

Kings Notes: Fox, Walton, Parker, Bagley

The long layoff hasn’t changed De’Aaron Fox‘s mind about wanting to sign a long-term contract with the Kings, reports James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. On a Zoom session with the media today, Fox confirmed he still hopes to work out a rookie scale extension once the offseason arrives.

“I see myself being here. I want to be here,” he said. “Obviously, you know we want to win and right now, I think last year, we put ourselves in a good position. This year, we’re sort of in the same position to still make the playoffs. So that’s what we all want and then continue to take the next step forward.”

In his third NBA season, Fox has developed into one of the league’s most exciting young point guards and the focus of his franchise. A league source tells Ham that some extension negotiations have already taken place, but they are on hold because of uncertainty over the salary cap. Fox is eligible for a new deal that could extend his current contract by up to five years.

There’s more from Sacramento:

  • Fox believes the Kings are being unfairly overlooked by the national media, Ham writes in a separate story. Sacramento is tied with the Pelicans and Trail Blazers in the Western Conference playoff race, but was ignored by ESPN and The Ringer in two widely reported incidents. “I think it’s disrespectful that we don’t even stand a chance, like we shouldn’t be there,” he said. “The slow start is what it is, but at the end of the day, I feel like we have just as much of a chance as these other teams.”
  • Coach Luke Walton told the media he has talked to Jabari Parker about a weekend incident in which he was filmed playing tennis in a Chicago park without a face mask, Ham adds in another piece. Parker was one of three Kings reported last week to have tested positive for COVID-19, but he said his in-house quarantine was complete and he was social distancing during the game. “I talked to Jabari about being out in public and kind of reminded him, one, that even though he’s been cleared to end his self-isolation, we still can’t have anyone who gets sick doing hard physical work until a later date when you’re cleared by doctors,” Walton said. Parker remains in Chicago, and Walton isn’t sure if he will fly to Sacramento for camp or wait to join the team in Orlando.
  • The training staff expects Marvin Bagley III to be ready when the season resumes, tweets Jason Jones of The Athletic. The second-year forward has played just 13 games this year because of a left foot sprain and a broken thumb.

Kings Notes: Parker, Hield, Len, Schedule

The Kings have little to say about a TMZ report that Jabari Parker was playing tennis without a mask Saturday at a park in Chicago, writes Ali Thanawalla of NBC Sports. Parker revealed Wednesday that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

“We are aware of the report and are gathering additional information,” the team said in a prepared statement. “We have no further comment at this time.”

Parker told Ben Stinar of The Big Lead that he has completed his in-house quarantine and was social distancing during the tennis game (Twitter link). Many Kings players have returned to Sacramento to train, but Parker has stayed in his hometown of Chicago, and there’s no official word on when he will join the team, according to Thanawalla. He has appeared in just one game since being acquired from the Hawks at the trade deadline.

There’s more Kings news to pass along:

  • Buddy Hield expects to “be fine by Monday” after testing positive this week, but he’ll have to wait before resuming basketball activities, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Under NBA guidelines, any player with COVID-19 must stop training for two weeks from the date of the first positive test or the resolution of viral symptoms. Hield said his positive test was last week, while teammate Alex Len tested positive on Tuesday.
  • The Kings got a bad break in their Orlando schedule, Thanawalla observes in a separate story. Seven of the eight games were on their original slate, but a contest against the Pacers has been replaced by another showdown with the Lakers, who have the West’s best record and have already beaten Sacramento twice. However, that game is the season finale, so L.A. may have already wrapped up the No. 1 seed.
  • Jason Jones of the Athletic offers a game-by-game analysis of Sacramento’s schedule as the franchise tries to secure a playoff berth for the first time since 2006. The Kings are three and a half games behind Memphis for the eighth spot and will need to finish ninth – and within four games of the eighth spot – to qualify for a play-in tournament.

Batum, DeRozan Among Players With Earlier Option Decision Deadlines

Most veterans who have player options in their contracts for the 2020/21 season will have an October 17 deadline to either exercise or decline that option. That Saturday represents the second-last day of the 2019/20 league year under the NBA’s new calendar, meaning it would coincide in a normal year with June 29, the usual player option decision deadline.

However, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, some of the players who have to make option decisions for 2020/21 have slightly earlier deadlines. For instance, if the Spurs don’t make the postseason, DeMar DeRozan will be required to make his decision within seven days of the team’s last game, per Marks.

The full list of player options for ’20/21 can be found on our free agents page, but here are the options which must be exercised or declined before October 17, according to Marks:

The rest of this season’s player option decisions must be made by October 17, a deadline that applies to nearly every team option for 2020/21 as well. The only team options with earlier decision dates are minimum-salary ones for Deonte Burton (Thunder) and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Pistons), which are due by October 15, per Marks.

Jabari Parker Tests Positive For COVID-19

Kings power forward Jabari Parker has tested positive for the novel coronavirus COVID-19, according to an announcement from Parker via the team’s official Twitter account (Twitter link). In the statement, Parker indicated that he had received the news “several days ago” and has been self-isolating at his Chicago home.

“I am progressing in my recovery and feeling well,” Parker said. “I look forward to joining my teammates in Orlando as we return to the court for the resumption of the NBA season.”

Parker was part of a trade deadline deal that sent him and center Alex Len to Sacramento by way of Atlanta in a deal that shipped Dewayne Dedmon back to the Hawks. He has played just one game for the Kings in California’s state capital.

Across 33 games played this season (32 of those transpiring in Atlanta), Parker has averaged 14.7 PPG on a solid 49.9% field goal percentage, with 5.9 RPG and 1.8 APG. The former No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft has fashioned himself into a bench scorer since returning from two devastating ACL tears in his left knee while with his first club, the Bucks. The Kings are his fourth team in the past two seasons.

The Kings number among the 22 NBA teams that will be part of the league’s restart, scheduled for July 30th in Orlando. The team added Corey Brewer after discovering the news of Parker’s condition, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Kings Notes: Bagley, Dedmon, Parker, Bazemore

Marvin Bagley‘s status for the rest of the season remains uncertain as he recovers from a sprained left foot, writes James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. The second-year forward has barely played since suffering the injury December 26, and the Kings announced last week that he will be re-examined after the All-Star break.

Bagley was wearing a walking boot as he visited the team in the locker room following last night’s game. He talked to the media for the first time since the injury, but wasn’t able to add much clarity to his situation.

“I’m definitely going to try to come back this year, but that’s too far ahead at this point,” Bagley said. “The most important thing for me right now is to make sure I’m healthy. Honestly, who knows, I’m just going one day at a time with this, I’m trying not to think too far ahead. I obviously want to play, I want to be out there. … I’ve only played however many games I’ve played this season over things I can’t control.”

There’s more from Sacramento:

  • General manager Vlade Divac admitted the Kings didn’t get what they hoped for from Dewayne Dedmon when they signed him to a three-year, $40MM contract in free agency, Ham relays in a separate story. Sacramento granted Dedmon’s trade request this week, sending him back to Atlanta. “Definitely disappointed for me, for the organization and I’m sure from Dedmon’s side that things didn’t work,” Divac said. “We had good intentions. He didn’t work out. We’re happy to move on and wish Dedmon all the best. Definitely, he wasn’t what we expected.”
  • The players the Kings received in the deal with the Hawks are both close to returning from injuries, Ham adds. Jabari Parker may play tomorrow after missing most of the past month with a shoulder impingement, while Alex Len is making progress in his recovery from a hip flexor. In a video posted by Sean Cunningham of KXTV, Parker said he wasn’t surprised to be traded. “I’ve always had a perspective I’m not employed by individual teams; I’m employed by the NBA,” he said.
  • The Kings began to turn their season around when they acquired Kent Bazemore from the Trail Blazers, observes Jason Jones of The Athletic. Bazemore has brought energy and attention to detail to the Sacramento defense. “He goes out there and does a lot of the dirty work,” De’Aaron Fox said. “… He does a lot of things for us, and the chemistry we’ve had since he’s been here has been great. It feels like we’ve been playing with him a lot longer than two weeks.”

Kings Trade Dewayne Dedmon To Hawks

FEBRUARY 6: Nearly 24 hours after it was agreed upon, the Kings and Hawks have officially announced their trade sending Dedmon and a pair of second-round picks to Atlanta in exchange for Parker and Len. Sacramento also confirmed that the team has released Eric Mika, as we relayed in a separate story.

FEBRUARY 5: Dewayne Dedmon will return to Atlanta, as the Kings have reached a deal to send their unhappy center to the Hawks, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.  Sacramento will receive Jabari Parker and Alex Len in return, while Atlanta will get a pair of second-round picks.

The two second-round selections aren’t Sacramento’s own picks, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link), who reports that the Hawks will receive Houston’s 2020 second-rounder and Miami’s 2021 second-rounder. The Kings had been owed seven extra second-round selections through the 2025 draft, so they’ll still have a surplus of picks going forward.

Because the Kings have a full roster, they’ll have to open a spot before the deal can be completed. One possibility is an early release for Eric Mika, who signed a 10-day contract on February 1.

Dedmon was the Hawks’ starting center for the past two seasons before joining the Kings in free agency last summer on a three-year, $41MM contract. Things quickly went south in Sacramento as he lost his starting job to Richaun Holmes. He became outspoken about his lack of playing time and was fined $50K in early January for making a public trade request. Dedmon averaged 5.1 points and 4.9 rebounds in 34 games with the Kings.

Sacramento adds Parker, who holds a $6.5MM player option for next season, along with Len, who has a $4.16MM expiring contract. Both are former top-five draft picks who are trying to revive their careers after disappointing starts.

Parker averaged 15.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in 32 games after signing with the Hawks as a free agent last summer. He was also traded at last year’s deadline, making the Kings his fourth team in the past two seasons. Len was averaging 8.7 PPG and 5.8 RPG through 40 games in his second season with Atlanta.

The deal didn’t catch Len by surprise, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. (Twitter link). When asked before tonight’s game about the trade that will bring Clint Capela to Atlanta, Len responded, “We have what like 24 hours left (until the trade deadline)? It’s going to be really interesting because we have four bigs. Something is probably going to happen now.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.