Atlanta Hawks Offseason Grades: Signing Jabari Parker to Two-Year Deal

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

A look at the grade for the Atlanta Hawks signing Jabari Parker to a two-year deal this offseason.

As we get closer to the start of the NBA season, the Atlanta Hawks roster is starting to take shape.

After trading away Omari Spellman to the Warriors on the 8th of July, they had a gap at the power forward position. It was a hole that wasn’t empty for long, as just a few days later the team signed 24-year-old wing/big Jabari Parker.

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The move was seemingly out of nowhere, as there was very little noise surrounding Parker, let alone rumors of him coming to the Atlanta Hawks.

Just 5 years removed from being  the 2nd overall pick, Parker has struggled with his consistency as well as dealing with some violent injuries. Last season Parker put up 14.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, while shooting 49% from the field.

He started the season in Chicago as a Bull, but was traded to the Wizards a day before the deadline. Once in Washington, Parker improved his play, getting a bump in nearly every category. Despite that, the Wizards passed on the $20 million team option they had available.

That opened the door for the Atlanta Hawks, and they signed the forward to a 2-year deal worth $13 million with a player option on the second year.

It was a smart movie for a team that not only had a need for another wing and more than enough in cap space, but is also in position to give the still-young player a second chance.

As mentioned, Parker was more than competent off the bench as a Wizard, the role he’ll be reprising behind John Collins this season. He’s more than skilled offensively and can create his own shots inside and out.

It’s the defense that’s troubling, as coming out of college Parker was never much a defender, and that’s also the aspect of his game that’s taken the biggest hit after his two ACL tears.

Last summer, Jabari went on record to state: “they don’t pay players to play defense.” In that regard, he’s not a good addition to the Hawks team that needs a big improvement in their defense if they want to compete for a playoff spot.

Grade: B+

This is a sensible, if not earth-shattering, signing for the Atlanta Hawks, as Parker should be able to provide a nice scoring boost off the bench. Parker might never get back to his 2016 days when he averaged 20 ppg on 49% shooting, but the upside is still there.

Stay tuned to Soaring Down South as the season goes on to see if Parker can live up to (or surpass) expectations as a Hawk.