Atlanta Hawks: Jabari Parker Represents Fascinating “Prove It” Candidate

Jabari Parker Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Jabari Parker Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

A quick reaction to the Atlanta Hawks signing Jabari Parker to a two-year contract.

Yesterday, the Atlanta Hawks made a rather surprising move to sign erstwhile second overall pick Jabari Parker to a two-year deal worth $13 million. The second year of the deal represents a player option.

That deal is a far cry from the two-year/$40 million deal he signed in the 2018 offseason, though the second season was a team option. Fan reaction was fairly divided upon this deal getting done, though it seems to make some sense in the abstract.

Parker is only three seasons removed from averaging 20.1 points per game with the Milwaukee Bucks, which still holds as his career-high in per-game production. Of course, scoring isn’t everything, and Parker’s defensive miscues are well-known throughout the league.

However, the 24-year-old did show some promising signs in the playoffs in 2018 with the Milwaukee Bucks, where he put forth decent effort buoyed by his still-present athleticism, though his explosiveness has certainly been stymied by injuries throughout his career.

Parker has suffered not one but two ACL tears in his left knee during his career – the first in December 2014 and the second in 2017, after which he was ruled out on February 6.

For the Atlanta Hawks, after the trade of Omari Spellman, the team needed another big man to fill the void left by Spellman’s sweet shooting at the four or five. Parker has played 79 percent of his minutes at the four in his career, meaning that he will likely play next to John Collins or Bruno Fernando – depending on matchup alignments.

Last season, Parker was traded to the Washington Wizards at the deadline as part of the Otto Porter deal, and Parker actually produced some of his best stats on the most efficient shooting of his career – hopefully a harbinger of what’s to come for Jabari as a member of the Atlanta Hawks.

Parker produced a career-high 58.7 true shooting percentage in his Wizards tenure per Basketball Reference combined with a +5.0 on/off rating, which was also the highest of his career (and the only positive on/off of his career).

Beyond that, Parker’s per-36 minute numbers would’ve all been career-highs or near career-highs had he kept up that pace all season: 19.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 0.8 blocks.

Next. Hawks Trade Omari Spellman After Just One Season. dark

Certainly, Parker’s presence on the Atlanta Hawks next season will make for an interesting storyline. Keep it locked to Soaring Down South for plenty more coverage of this news and all your Hawks-related updates.