Jabari Parker

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.

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.