Jabari Parker could be the key to the Sacramento Kings’ success in the future.
It’s no secret that the Sacramento Kings have been one of the NBA’s worst teams in recent memory. Despite that, they were one of the more exciting teams to watch in the league during the 2019-20 season.
I don’t know if it’s their youth or lack of competent coaching (another article for another day), but they’re missing one piece to put them over the top. Maybe that one piece could be Jabari Parker.
A lot of fans are relying on the 12th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft to change the landscape of the organization, but why worry about that?
Sure, the Kings could draft somebody like Precious Achiuwa, but there’s never any certainty when taking someone out of college. They’re overlooking someone in their organization that’s already proven to be a viable asset in the NBA when healthy.
I’m aware that the ‘when healthy’ part of that last sentence will turn some Kings fans off, considering Parker’s only played 258 games in six seasons.
Hear me out.
Before coming to the Kings in February, he was in and out of the lineup for the Atlanta Hawks playing only 32 games before the league shut down due to COVID-19. In those appearances, Parker began to prove why he was a former second overall pick.
15.0 points per game, tying his second-most in the scoring column since 2016 when he was in Milwaukee, showed promise. Unfortunately for him, a nagging shoulder injury saw him move to his eighth team.
I have a feeling that eight is his magic number.
Jabari Parker might have finally found a long-term home with the Sacramento Kings.
Parker didn’t have much time to build chemistry with the Kings, only playing in six games for his new squad. Sacramento was lucky enough to slide in as one of the 22 teams in the Orlando bubble, and although they went out without much of a fight, Parker again proved that he can contribute.
After rejoining the team in Orlando following his contraction of the coronavirus, Parker contributed in a key role to the Kings’ late bubble success.
During the final two games of their stay, Sacramento defeated the Los Angeles Lakers and played spoiler to any playoff hopes the New Orleans Pelicans had.
In both of those games, Parker posted well-rounded box scores while only missing one shot. He posted well-above-average plus-minus scores of +4 and +13 and was a crucial part of a strong Kings’ finish.
I understand that his sample size since tearing his ACL has been almost microscopic, but this is only the third time in Parker’s career that he’s actually been able to play in the last game of the season.
Seeing his ability to close out a campaign strong makes me confident that he’ll be well-rested when the 2020-21 season begins.
Bottom line, we’ve all seen what this kid can do. Whether it’s been flashes or a near-full season of balling out, everyone knows that Jabari Parker can play well when he’s actually able to take the court.
Regardless of if he comes off the bench or is a starter, one thing’s for sure — a healthy Bagley and Parker in any capacity is a scary frontcourt.
Now you pair them with Fox, Bogdanovic, Harrison Barnes, and Buddy Hield? I can’t see how the Kings don’t make the playoffs next year.