Jabari Parker

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.

Hawks Rumors: Collins, Drummond, Adams, Parker

Both the Rockets and Nets have specifically expressed interest in Hawks big man John Collins recently, a league source tells Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. However, teams that have talked to Atlanta have been left with the impression that the team won’t move Collins unless it gets an offer it can refuse.

According to Kirschner, Houston wanted Collins as part of a Clint Capela trade as a younger, cheaper replacement, which presumably was a non-starter for the Hawks. Kirschner suggests Spencer Dinwiddie was mentioned in talks with the Nets, but says it’s not clear whether those discussions went anywhere.

Collins will be eligible for a rookie scale extension for the first time this offseason, and multiple league sources tell Kirschner that he’s expected to seek a max or near-max deal. If the Hawks decide that price is too rich, they could revisit the trade market, but for now, the big man isn’t being shopped at all. It’s “highly unlikely” that Atlanta moves any member of its young core – including Collins – at this Thursday’s deadline, tweets Sarah K. Spencer of The Athletic.

Here’s more on the Hawks:

  • A league source tells Kirschner that Andre Drummond made it clear the Hawks would have been a preferred landing spot if the Pistons trade him. Atlanta opted against giving up Brooklyn’s 2020 first-round pick in a deal for Drummond, and aren’t expected to re-engage this week, though the team could circle back to the big man in free agency, Kirschner writes.
  • Steven Adams has also been cited as a probable Hawks target, but a source with knowledge of the Thunder‘s thinking believes Adams is unlikely to be moved at the deadline, according to Kirschner.
  • Jabari Parker, who hasn’t played since January 3 due to a right shoulder impingement, is a trade candidate but will remain sidelined through the deadline. As Spencer tweets, the Hawks announced today that Parker is doing non-contact work and will be re-evaluated in one week.

Jabari Parker Out At Least Two More Weeks

After being re-evaluated by the team, Hawks forward Jabari Parker has been cleared to move onto the next stage of his rehab process, but his return from a shoulder injury still isn’t imminent, according to the team.

The Hawks announced in a press release that Parker’s next steps will include “controlled movement and gradual reloading of his rotator cuff.” The former No. 2 overall pick will be re-evaluated in two weeks, the club said.

Parker, who had been Atlanta’s third-leading scorer this season, has been limited to just 15 total minutes since Christmas due to his shoulder ailment, which will now sideline him into February. When healthy, he has been a solid contributor for the Hawks, averaging 15.0 PPG and 6.0 RPG on 50.4% shooting in 32 games (26.2 MPG).

With Atlanta out of the playoff race and headed for a top spot in the lottery, Parker looked like a potential trade candidate. Now that there’s no guarantee he’ll be back on the court in time for the February 6 deadline, the odds are against him being involved in a deal.

Assuming he finishes the season with the Hawks, the 24-year-old will face a decision this offseason on whether to remain in Atlanta, since he holds a $6.5MM player option for the 2020/21 season.

Jabari Parker Out At Least Two Weeks With Shoulder Injury

Hawks forward Jabari Parker underwent a non-surgical procedure on his right shoulder and will enter a period of rehab and treatment, the club announced today (via Twitter). According to the Hawks, Parker will be re-examined in two weeks, so he’ll be sidelined for at least the team’s next seven games.

A former No. 2 overall pick, Parker has had a solid season in Atlanta so far, averaging 15.0 PPG and 6.0 RPG on 50.4% shooting in 32 games (26.2 MPG). With John Collins having missed 25 games this fall due to a suspension, Parker has been Atlanta’s second scoring option behind Trae Young for much of the season.

The 8-29 Hawks are certainly lottery-bound, so Parker’s status won’t have any real effect on the Eastern Conference playoff race. However, it could impact the NBA’s race for the bottom — Atlanta currently has the league’s worst record by a half-game, as our reverse standings show.

Additionally, Parker looks like a possible trade candidate leading up to next month’s deadline. While it’s unclear if the Hawks will try to move him by February 6, the odds of a deal would shrink if the 24-year-old isn’t able to return to the court and pick up where he left by then.

Southeast Notes: Bertans, Wizards, Parker, Heat

Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard recently declared that the team fully intends to keep sharpshooter Davis Bertans beyond this season, and it appears that interest is reciprocated by the Latvian Laser and his camp. Bertans tells Fred Katz of The Athletic that he’s happy with the Wizards and that his family has been enjoying D.C.

“(D.C.) is just more something closer to home, like a little international, European style,” Bertans said. “There’s some history that not a lot of cities in the States have. And then when you’re downtown, everything is walking distance. That’s about it. My family loves it here. So, that’s a big part. … Happy wife, happy life.”

Bertans has, of course, been enjoying a career year on the court, emerging as one of the NBA’s best three-point shooters in terms of both accuracy (46.2%) and volume (4.0 made threes per game). According to Quinton Mayo of NBC Sports Washington, longtime agent Arturs Kalnitis said his client has appreciated the opportunity to “showcase his abilities” and has had an “all-around great experience” in Washington. Still, Kalnitis noted that Bertans figures to draw plenty of interest in free agency next July.

“This will be an interesting summer for Davis as many teams are high on him,” Kalnitis said. “Every team needs players like him to win a championship.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Former first-round pick Anzejs Pasecniks, who signed a two-way contract with the Wizards this week, made his NBA debut on Wednesday, marking the first time two teammates from Latvia played together in the same game. Both Pasecniks and Bertans spoke about how much they valued that opportunity, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. “You can’t even imagine what kind of a small possibility that is,” Bertans said. “It’s an amazing feeling. It just shows that basketball in Latvia is growing very rapidly.”
  • In addition to being the first team to reach out to Jabari Parker in free agency, the Hawks also promised the most regular playing time, which was a major factor in the forward’s decision, as he tells Michael Pina of SB Nation. “Forget the contract and whatever. I’ve made a lot of money other places,” Parker said. “So it’s not just for the money. It’s just so I can enjoy the game. As long as I’m playing, that’s all I care about. It’s not about anything else.” Parker is averaging 27.4 minutes per game in Atlanta this season, his highest mark since 2016/17.
  • As a result of the offseason trade that sent Josh Richardson to Philadelphia, he and Justise Winslow are no longer teammates after spending the first four years of their respective NBA careers with the Heat. Still, Winslow claims the trade actually brought him and Richardson even closer. Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel has the story and the quotes.

Eastern Notes: Bertans, Free Agency, Parker

As we reported earlier this week, it may be difficult for the rival teams to pry Davis Bertans from Washington, as the Wizards are strongly considering keeping the big man through the season and re-signing him this summer.

GM Tommy Sheppard believed that Bertans was “one of the top 3-point shooters in the league last season” when he dealt for the big man this past offseason, Jackson Filyo of NBA.com relays. The team thought that Bertans was someone who would add depth to the frontcourt with his “shooting ability, basketball IQ and work ethic.

It’s turned out to be one of better under-the-radar moves as Bertans has been pacing the NBA in threes. Over his past six games, the Latvian Laser has 36 triples, which tops the league over that stretch. Washington doesn’t play again until Saturday. Perhaps time away is the only thing that can cool Bertans off.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • One executive tells David Aldridge of The Athletic that the Wizards‘ game plan has increased Bertans’ stock as a trade chip and a 2020 free agent. “The way Washington is using him will certainly increase his value,” a longtime NBA front office executive, currently unaffiliated, said via text. “The [3-pointer] in today’s game is a huge commodity now. I think he is a mix between [Kyle Korver and [Ryan Anderson].”
  • One former front office executive (in that same piece) tells Aldridge that Bertans could make a substantial raise on his current $7MM salary in free agency this summer. “He will get between $15M and $20M (per year) this summer.” the former executive said. “Most likely for a two-year deal. Don’t see him getting a four-year deal.” It’s worth noting that one current GM thought that valuation was high, given how few teams will have cap space this summer.
  • Hawks forward Jabari Parker has no hard feelings toward the Bulls despite his tenure in Chicago not working out as planned. “I just had to move on, but that never changed about how I feel about my city because I have more street cred than that organization period,” Parker said this week, per Eric Woodyard of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel wonders if Bam Adebayo is the second star the Heat have been looking for. The center is having his most efficient season as a professional and is a top contender for the Most Improved Player award.

NBA Trade Candidate Watch: Southeast Division

Over the course of the 2019/20 NBA season, up until February’s trade deadline, we’re keeping an eye on potential trade candidates from around the NBA, monitoring their value and exploring the likelihood that they’ll be moved. Each of these looks at possible trade candidates focuses on a specific division, as we zero in on three players from that division.

We’re still more than two weeks away from December 15, the date when most of this past offseason’s free agent signees become trade-eligible, so the NBA’s 2019/20 trade season hasn’t really begun yet. But with the regular season nearing the one-quarter mark, we’re getting a better sense of which teams might be buyers and which non-contenders will end up being sellers.

Having gone through all six divisions once as we examine potential trade candidates, we’re starting our second go-round today. Here are three more possible trade candidates from out of the Southeast:

Davis Bertans, PF
Washington Wizards
$7MM cap hit; UFA in 2020

Bertans, who would likely still be a Spur if Marcus Morris had never agreed to sign with San Antonio over the summer, has played a crucial role in helping the Wizards post some of the NBA’s best offensive numbers. One of the most dangerous frontcourt shooters in the league, Bertans is making a career-high 44.3% of his three-pointers on 7.6 attempts per game and has increased his scoring average off the bench to 13.3 PPG.

The Wizards might try to lock up Bertans long-term, but the 27-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, giving the club little leverage in contract talks. If Washington falls out of the playoff hunt in the East, Bertans will be one of the team’s best trade chips, based on his affordable cap hit ($7MM), his expiring contract, and his ability to provide instant offense.

One scout who spoke to ESPN’s Bobby Marks earlier this month suggested that it wouldn’t be a surprise if there’s a team willing to surrender a late first-round pick for Bertans at the trade deadline.

Jabari Parker, PF
Atlanta Hawks
$6.5MM cap hit; $6.5MM player option for 2020/21

Like the Wizards, the Hawks probably won’t shift into selling mode until their playoff hopes are all but extinguished. And it may take a while for that to happen in an Eastern Conference where the 8-12 Hornets currently hold onto the No. 8 seed.

Still, at 4-15, the Hawks are already 3.5 games out of the postseason picture, so unless they start winning some games soon, they’ll have to consider shopping some veteran players. Although Parker is only 24, the sixth-year forward qualifies as one such veteran.

With 17.8 PPG on 51.8% shooting through 18 games (28.1 MPG), Parker has been the Hawks’ best scorer not named Trae Young this season. And it’s not as if he’s been putting up numbers against second-stringers — he has been a starter since John Collins was hit with a 25-game suspension early in the season.

With a $6.5MM player option for the 2020/21 season, Parker could be a one-and-done in Atlanta, so if a team in need of frontcourt scoring wants to make a play for him before the deadline, the Hawks would be wise to listen.

Aaron Gordon, F
Orlando Magic
$19.9MM cap hit; descending guaranteed salaries through 2021/22

By all accounts, Gordon isn’t a trade candidate right now. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported two weeks ago that teams were monitoring the former No. 4 overall pick in case he becomes available, but said that Orlando has shown no interest in such a move.

Still, the Magic (7-11) have been disappointing so far and their offense has been disastrous. Jonathan Isaac, not exactly a dynamic scorer himself, nonetheless looks like a franchise cornerstone due to his versatility, defensive ability, and upside, and Sean Deveney of Forbes recently suggested there may be some concern within the organization about the long-term fit of an Isaac/Gordon frontcourt.

Gordon is just 24 years old and still has intriguing potential, despite his lack of improvement so far this season. He also has a contract that declines in value each year, eventually dipping to $16.4MM in 2021/22. That makes him a valuable trade chip.

I think the Magic front office will be patient in giving the current group every opportunity to make things work, and a trade for scoring help wouldn’t necessarily have to include Gordon. But moving the young forward is a possibility the team should at least consider if its struggles continue.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jabari Parker Won’t Rule Out Return To Bucks

The Bucks had high hopes for Jabari Parker when they selected him with the No. 2 overall pick back in 2014, but injuries robbed him of much of his time in Milwaukee. Parker, who recently signed with the Hawks, wishes things had worked out differently.

“It’s real special, man, how they were able to build this building,” Parker told Eric Woodyard of ESPN. “I haven’t played here but just seeing like the growth of the city, I really like the way that it’s developing.”

“It’s just so sad that I’m not able to share it with them and that they moved on, but that’s fine, that’s business. But I do have like a little homesickness from being here. I just miss being here.”

Parker’s deal is for two seasons, though the second year is a player option. The forward wouldn’t rule out a return to Milwaukee.

“Never. I would never rule out a possible return here,” Parker added. “I would never do that. It’s just so sad how it ended and I wish I could’ve stayed.”

Southeast Notes: Walker, Jordan, Parker, Wizards

Despite leaving the Hornets in free agency this past summer, Kemba Walker still holds a positive relationship with owner Michael Jordan and the city of Charlotte.

Walker, who spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Hornets, opted to sign a four-year, maximum-salary deal worth $141MM with the Celtics in early July.

“MJ is always going to be a special guy in my life,” Walker said last week after his return to Charlotte, as relayed by Steve Reed of the Associated Press. The Celtics wound up winning the game 108-87. “He’s one of the reasons I am where I am today.”

Jordan drafted Walker No. 9 overall in the 2011 draft, starting his professional career in a Hornets uniform. Walker has rapidly improved since his rookie season and is currently known as one of the league’s elite point guards, holding per-game averages of 24.5 points and 4.5 assists with Boston on the season.

“He gave me the opportunity to flourish as a basketball player,” Walker said of Jordan. “He gave me the opportunity to grow as a man in this community. So, MJ definitely has a special place in my heart for sure.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • Count Jordan and former Hornets head coach Steve Clifford among those who aren’t jumping on the NBA’s “load management” bandwagon, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News writes. “Our guys aren’t used to sitting on the second game of a back-to-back.… We’re not sitting guys just to sit,” said Clifford, who currently coaches the Magic. “For me, my background frankly, it all goes back to expectations. Being with Michael in Charlotte, Michael used to tell them every year, you’re paid to play 82 games.”
  • K.L. Chouinard of NBA.com profiles Hawks forward Jabari Parker, labeling the sixth-year player as “the NBA’s oldest 24-year-old.” Parker has displayed a respectable amount of maturity in recent seasons and has interests typically shared by his elders, including older music and cars, Chouinard explained. Parker has averaged 16.4 points and five rebounds per game for the Hawks this season, starting in three of his eight contests.
  • The Wizards are working to find a difficult balance between developing young players while still competing in today’s league, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington notes. Washington has young players with high potential such as Rui Hachimura (21) and Thomas Bryant (22), along with established veterans such as Bradley Beal (26), Isaiah Thomas (30) and others.