Jabari Parker

Hawks Notes: Jones, Roster, Parker, Minutes

Former first-round pick and newly-acquired Hawks big man Damian Jones is looking to show off his talent in a way he wasn’t able to on a loaded Warriors’ roster, writes Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Jones, who says he is 100 percent recovered from last season’s injury, sees himself being able to provide Atlanta with rim protection, defense and a lob option around the basket.

“I haven’t really gotten a chance to show what I can do,” Jones said Friday at his introductory news conference. “… I still have more to prove.”

There’s more news out of Atlanta this afternoon from Vivlamore:

  • After waiving point guard Jaylen Adams, the Hawks now have a roster of 13 players and will look to sign another veteran to the roster and a second two-way player alongside Charlie Brown, per Vivlamore (link). Because Trae Young is now the lone point guard on the team, one of those signings will almost certainly be a point guard. As for the final standard roster spot, Atlanta plans to leave that vacant for the start of the season.
  • One of those 13 players is former No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker. Parker, who saw his $20MM team option declined by the Wizards earlier this summer before signing with the Hawks on a two-year, $13MM deal earlier this week, says one the reasons he signed with Atlanta is because of the team’s medical staff and Parker’s confidence in them working with his twice surgically repaired left knee (Twitter link from Vivlamore).
  • As we relayed earlier this weekend, Young, big man John Collins , and rookie lottery selections De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish will all see “a lot” of playing time during the 2019/20 season, per general manager Travis Schlenk.

Hawks Sign Jabari Parker To Two-Year Deal

JULY 11: The Hawks have officially signed Parker, the team confirmed today in a press release.

“Jabari is a highly skilled offensive player and proven scorer, and we’re looking forward to incorporating him into our group,” Hawks GM Travis Schlenk said in a statement. “We think he will fit well on the court and in the locker room, and we’re excited to welcome him to Atlanta.”

JULY 8: The Hawks and forward Jabari Parker have agreed to terms on a two-year contract, his agency Priority Sports announced today (via Twitter). According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter), the two-year pact will be worth $13MM, with a second-year player option.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 draft, Parker averaged 20.1 PPG in 51 games with the Bucks in 2016/17. However, that season ended early due to a torn ACL and the 24-year-old hasn’t made the same impact since then for Milwaukee, Chicago, and Washington.

Last year, Parker signed a two-year, $40MM contract with the Bulls, which featured a second-year team option. He was traded to the Wizards in a deadline deal and averaged 14.5 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 2.4 APG on .493/.313/.712 shooting in 64 total games for the two teams. Washington turned down his 2019/20 option, allowing him to reach the open market as an unrestricted free agent.

It took Parker more than a week to find a new home, which made him a match for the Hawks, whose GM Travis Schlenk had stated this spring that the club would likely wait out the first wave of free agency to see who slipped through the cracks. Parker, the only unrestricted free agent still on the board from our top-50 list, fit that bill. He could become a starting forward in Atlanta, though he may slot in better as a second-unit scorer.

The Hawks were one of the few NBA teams with cap room still available, so no exception will be required to sign Parker. They still project to have about $6.2MM in space left after the signing, per Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agent Rumors: Mavs, Morris, Knicks, Wizards, Wolves

The Mavericks have interest in free agent forward Marcus Morris, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News, confirming a report from Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com (Twitter link). However, Dallas has “a few [players] ahead” of Morris on their wish list, according to Townsend.

Danny Green is one of those names believed to be ahead of Morris. The Mavericks have been linked to the veteran sharpshooter since the start of free agency, and a tweet from the account for Green’s podcast today listed the Mavs, Raptors, and Lakers as the teams still in play for the veteran shooting guard. The Mavs aren’t expecting an answer from Green until tomorrow at the earliest though, says Townsend.

Here’s more on the NBA’s remaining free agents:

  • The Knicks project to have one slot open on their 15-man roster for next season, and Lance Thomas is the favorite to fill it, a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link). New York recently waived Thomas to avoid guaranteeing his 2019/20 salary, but could bring him back on a more modest deal.
  • The Wizards haven’t circled back to free agent forward Jabari Parker so far, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link), who says that the market is “still developing” for the former No. 2 overall pick.
  • The Timberwolves have kicked the tires on free agent forward Jake Layman, tweets Darren Wolfson of SKOR North. Layman received a qualifying offer from the Trail Blazers, so he’s a restricted free agent.

Free Agent Notes: Harris, Leonard, Portis

Tobias Harris is meeting with the Sixers to begin free agency, The Athletic’s David Aldridge tweets. Harris is seeking a full, five-year max deal.

Jimmy Butler is in Miami to begin his free agency tour and is expected to tell the Heat that he wants to sign with them. The Sixers will likely get a chance to speak with Butler before he signs elsewhere, as Miami doesn’t have the cap space necessary to offer Butler a max contract.

Here’s more from the start of free agency:

  • Magic Johnson said he has spoken to Kawhi Leonard and Dennis Robertson (Leonard’s uncle) after Leonard’s camp contacted him, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times relays (Twitter link). No meeting between the parties has been set up yet.
  • Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker are both operating as if they will not be back with the Wizards, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports reports on Twitter. Both players were brought to Washington in the mid-season deal that sent Otto Porter Jr. to Chicago.
  • Julius Randle is on the Knicks‘ radar, a source tells Marc Berman of the New York Post (Twitter link). New York missed out on Kevin Durant, watching him sign with the Nets.
  • The Knicks are meeting with Reggie Bullock tonight, Aldridge tweets. Bullock is ready to commit to a “strong offer,” Aldridge adds. The Lakers would like to keep him, though New York will be among the teams which will have a chance to steal him away from Los Angeles.

Wizards To Decline $20MM Option On Jabari Parker

The Wizards won’t exercise their $20MM team option on Jabari Parker, but they may try to re-sign him, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

The move has been expected, dating back to when Washington traded for Parker in February, Haynes adds. But he cites “mutual interest” between Parker and the team in working out a longer arrangement once he becomes an unrestricted free agent next weekend. The Wizards view him as a player with potential whose development has been slowed by ACL tears in 2014 and 2017.

Parker’s asking price will start at $15MM per year, sources tell Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, and that number could rise or fall depending on the market. He adds that the Wizards will probably need Parker to relax that demand, especially after drafting Rui Hachimura, who has similar talents. Re-signing Thomas Bryant, Tomas Satoransky and possibly Bobby Portis will be higher priorites, according to Hughes.

Parker, 24, had a difficult time in Chicago after signing a two-year, $40MM deal last summer, especially once Jim Boylen replaced Fred Hoiberg as head coach. However, Parker was much better after the trade, averaging 15 points and 7.2 rebounds in 25 games with Washington.

Multiple Teams Interested In Bobby Portis

The man that bet on himself this season is in position to cash in. The Lakers, Clippers, Jazz, Bucks, Magic and Knicks are among the teams expected to have interest in Bobby Portis, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports reports.

Portis turned down an extension with the Bulls earlier this season and was rumored to be seeking a deal worth $16MM annually. While it’s not clear what kind of deal Portis receive in restricted free agency, it will certainly be a raise on his 2018/19 salary of approximately $2.5MM.

The Wizards are likely to extend a qualifying offer to Portis, which will be worth about $3.6MM.

The Bulls—the franchise that drafted Portis with the No.22 overall pick in the 2015 draft—traded him to the Wizards along with Jabari Parker for Otto Porter Jr. prior to the trade deadline. Washington is expected to decline Parker’s $20MM team option for next season, though even if both players signed elsewhere, the Wizards will have trouble carving out cap room.

[RELATED: 2019 NBA Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Washington Wizards]

The franchise is looking at approximately $89MM in guaranteed salary on the books for next season. The team will have a version of the mid-level at its disposal (the taxpayer’s MLE if over the projected $132MM) and the bi-annual exception will be available if it can stay below that tax line.

Details On The Failed KCP-Jabari Parker Swap

The Lakers had a tentative deal in place earlier this season to acquire Jabari Parker and send Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Beasley to the Bulls, a source tell Bill Oram of The Athletic. ESPN previously reported that the two teams discussed swapping Parker and KCP.

Caldwell-Pope would have had to agree to the deal, since he re-signed with the Lakers on a one-year contract, giving him the right to veto any trade. The deal was not signed off over the weekend leading up to Anthony Davis‘ public trade request and the Bulls were stuck in limbo for several days. Many within the league viewed Davis’ request as a call for the Lakers to trade for him. The Bulls subscribed to that notion and moved onto other trade discussions.

Parker was eventually sent to the Wizards in the Otto Porter Jr. deal, while KCP remains on the Lakers’ roster. Beasley was dealt to the Clippers along with Ivica Zubac and ultimately waived.

In Beasley’s case, the deal can partially be attributed to a locker room flair-up with coach Luke Walton. Walton wanted Beasley to play more unselfishly; Beasley, along with teammate JaVale McGee, challenged the request.

The Lakers ended up netting Mike Muscala in the Beasley-Zubac trade. Team president Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka had watched Muscala score 17 points during a spirited Sixers win over the Lakers just days prior and some within the league believe that single performance inspired the front office to make the deal.

Southeast Notes: Fultz, Parker, Porter, Birch

Despite not seeing any action yet, former No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz believes the Magic have a perfect system that will fit his game when he returns, John Denton of NBA.com writes. The Magic acquired Fultz in a deal before February’s trade deadline, pushing their vision to include him in pick-and-roll sets with Aaron Gordon and others once he recovers from injury.

“Pick-and-rolls are one of my favorite parts of the game, and as everyone knows, that’s the way that I played in college,’’ Fultz said. “I think (the Magic’s system) is almost perfect for me. I think I’m a versatile player, but with the screen-and-roll (system) and the players that we have here, I think it’s going to be very fun.”

Fultz has spent much of the season rehabbing in Los Angeles, but his rehab schedule shifted to Orlando this week so he could get adjusted with his new team, according to Denton. For Fultz, being around the team while sidelined is imperative as he continues to progress in his journey back to the court.

“I think it’s going to help me a lot, just being around the guys and seeing the (offensive) plays,’’ Fultz said. “When you’re sitting down watching, you see a lot of stuff that you miss while you are playing. So, I’m just soaking it all up right now. I’m getting to see the team practice, and then during games I can see where I could see myself playing and how I could help the team.’’

Fultz, 20, has played just 35 games since being drafted by the Sixers in 2017. The Magic hope he can become the team’s point guard of the future, though this largely depends on how his rehab progresses throughout the year.

There’s more today out of the Southeast Division:

  • Jabari Parker has found his groove since being acquired by the Wizards in a trade last month, Zach Rosen of NBA.com writes. Parker started the 2018/19 season in Chicago with an uneven role, but he’s consistently produced off Washington’s bench since the trade. “It’s crazy – just to see the turnaround,” teammate Bobby Portis said. “Seeing him come from Chicago not in a happy situation. Then being here and having coaches who really believe in his game, I think that’s really rejuvenating for him.”
  • Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington examines the returns of the BullsWizards trade that featured Parker, Portis and Otto Porter from February. Since completing the deal, Washington holds a record of 8-10 and Chicago holds a record of 9-10. Porter moved from the Southeast Division over to the Central Division with the trade to Chicago, giving the Bulls production at the starting small forward spot in the weeks that followed.
  • Chris Hays of The Orlando Sentinel details the long, tough path Khem Birch took before making the NBA, with the 26-year-old now seeing consistent playing time as a big man off the Magic’s bench. “Two years ago I was on the Syrian border on New Year’s Eve thinking if I’m ever going to come back home and play basketball in America,” Birch said. “I actually look back to when I was over there in Europe, and it made me a stronger person and it made me mature more.” Birch, who went undrafted in 2014, has earned double-digit minutes in every contest with Orlando since the start of February.

Wizards Notes: Parker, Portis, McRae

Since acquiring Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker in exchange for Otto Porter in a deadline deal with the Bulls, the Wizards have a 6-7 record, the exact same record they had in their 13 games before the trade. However, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington details, the club has looked quite different with Portis and Parker in its rotation.

The Wizards had struggled all season as a team with their rebounding, but they’ve seen those numbers improve over the last month, Hughes observes. Portis is averaging 9.4 RPG as a Wizard, while Parker is putting up 6.8 RPG — both figures would be career highs.

Meanwhile, Washington’s offense has been “supercharged” since the trade, according to Hughes, who writes that the team has ranked first in effective field goal percentage and assists per game while playing at the league’s third-fastest pace over the last 13 contests. Conversely, the Wizards’ defense has taken a hit — they’re forcing fewer turnovers and have allowed the most points in the paint in the NBA since the deal, which doesn’t come as a huge surprise, as neither Portis nor Parker is an elite defender.

Here’s more from out of D.C.:

  • While there’s no chance the Wizards will pick up Parker’s $20MM team option for 2019/20, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of the former No. 2 overall pick returning to the club next season, writes Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington.
  • Two-way player Jordan McRae, who is battling a sore Achilles, will be re-evaluated during the next few days, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said on Tuesday. As Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets, McRae might not spend any more time in the G League this season, since he still has some NBA days left on his two-way deal, and after the NBAGL regular season ends on March 23, all two-way players are permitted to rejoin their NBA clubs through the end of the NBA regular season.
  • A “top”-six team in our 2018/19 Reverse Standings for much of the season, Washington now ranks eighth in the lottery order after winning four of its last seven games. With a half-game separating them from the No. 6 Mavericks and No. 7 Grizzlies, it’ll be interesting to see where the Wizards finish. The No. 6 team in the lottery has a 37.2% chance at a top-four pick, whereas the odds for the No. 8 team slip to 26.2%.

Otto Porter Claims Wizards Promised Not To Trade Him

Otto Porter said Wizards management held a private meeting with him before the trade deadline and assured him that he would remain with the team, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic. Washington’s front office changed its mind sometime before Wednesday night when Porter was shipped to Chicago in exchange for Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker.

Porter was expected to be part of the Wizards’ future when he agreed to a rookie-scale extension in 2017. However, his production never matched his lofty new salary and he had settled into a sixth-man role since returning from an injury last month. He was owed $27.25MM next year and has a player option worth nearly $28.5MM for 2020/21, which created a luxury tax bind for a Wizards team that may not make the playoffs.

Katz notes that owner Ted Leonsis did a radio interview about a week ago in which he promised that Moore, John Wall and Bradley Beal would all stay with the organization past the deadline.

There’s more Wizards and Bulls news as the teams met tonight, just three days after the trade:

  • Parker contends his relationship with Jim Boylen did “a complete 180” after Boylen replaced Fred Hoiberg as Chicago’s head coach in December, relays Madeline Kenney of The Chicago Sun-Times“[Before that,] we never had controversy,” Parker said. “I always had his back, you know, with things that we had in-house problems with.” Displeased with Parker’s effort and commitment to defense, Boylen took him out of the rotation and Parker appeared in just one of 13 games in the first month that Boylen ran the team. “I’m happy,” Parker said of the deal that sent him to Washington. “I haven’t smiled in a while, but it’s great.”
  • Portis said he learned of Wednesday’s trade about 20 minutes prior to a game against the Pelicans and his “stomach dropped,” according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Portis seemed shocked about being dealt away from the team that drafted him in 2015. “Everybody knows how much I prided myself in playing for the Bulls and how much I really loved playing for the city of Chicago,” he said. “It’s a business and I finally got my first taste of it.”
  • Porter enjoyed the chance to provide inside information about his former team heading into tonight’s game, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. “Yeah, I was telling coach everything there was to know about Washington,” he said. “Everything. … I was snitching, yeah.”