Sacramento Kings: Could Jabari Parker be a difference-maker?

Sacramento Kings (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

The Sacramento Kings will have a chance to make the playoffs when the NBA season resumes next month, and Jabari Parker could be a difference-maker.

After having their eye on him since the 2018 free agency, the Sacramento Kings finally landed Jabari Parker before this year’s trade deadline.

The former No. 2 overall pick has not found a steady home in the NBA as he has consistently battled injuries over the years, but it appears he could make a name for himself in Sacramento.

Parker only played in one game for the Kings before the season halted, and he did not exactly impress. The forward scored just four points in his Kings debut, having shot a vile 16.7 percent from the field.

Still, a player should not be judged off of one game, let alone his debut with the team.

The 25-year-old had a solid season for the Atlanta Hawks before he got shipped off to Sacramento along with Alex Len for Dewayne Dedmon and a pair of second-round picks.

Parker only appeared in 32 games for the Hawks due to a nagging shoulder injury that plagued him all season long. Still, he impressed when he played, having averaged 15.0 points on 50.4 percent field goal shooting, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game.

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Parker could be a difference-maker if he is healthy by the NBA’s July 31st return date with all of this extended time off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, one issue is that the team already has a plethora of options at the power forward position that includes Harrison Barnes, Nemanja Bjelica, Harry Giles, and Marvin Bagley III.

This abundance of talent makes Parker a questionable fit on paper. Still, he could be a significant addition if used right.

Jabari Parker could be an underrated difference-maker for the Sacramento Kings.

A combo forward, Parker can play either position and score at will to give this team another option offensively. He does not have a quality perimeter shot, but as he showcased with the Hawks, Parker can score regardless.

For a Sacramento Kings team that ranked 17th in bench scoring at 36.5 points per game, the team could use a boost off the bench offensively.

If healthy, Parker could potentially provide that spark for this team with playoff aspirations. With Buddy Hield presumably coming off the bench also, that duo could be a lethal one-two punch for the Kings on offense.

Parker has much to prove as he could potentially hit the free-agent market after this season, and helping propel this Sacramento team into the postseason could do wonders.

The forward has a $6.5 million player option for next season, and with how his injury-riddled season has played out, it does not appear he would receive significant interest elsewhere.

At just 25-years-old, injuries have taken a significant hit on Parker’s once-promising career. He could still turn out to be a fantastic player, and it starts with the remainder of this season with the Sacramento Kings.

If a healthy Jabari Parker can play when the NBA season resumes, and provide that offensive spark off of the bench, he could rejuvenate his career.

Both Parker and the Kings have a great deal of pressure mounting to perform in those final eight regular-season games when the NBA restarts on July 31st with their seasons on the line.

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Parker has shown flashes of greatness throughout his career. He just has not stayed consistently healthy to show it. With a chip on his shoulder, hopefully, he can do it with the Sacramento Kings.