Assessing Jabari Parker‘s Instant impact and potentail future in Atlanta.
The one aspect of their offseason that was a bit quiet was free agency. Most of the newcomers are from either the aforementioned draft or trades, but they did make one free agent catch: Jabari Parker.
The former 2nd overall pick signed a two-year, 13 million dollar contract with Atlanta on July 11th, after the Wizard declined a 20 million team option.
Parker was dealt to the Wiz at the trade deadline last year after trying to start a comeback in his hometown of Chicago.
He was seen as a quality back up to rising star John Collins, and another spark of offensive for the free shooting Hawks.
Jump forward to today, and Parker has been well outplaying expectations. As predicted, he did start the season in the 6th man role, playing around 20 minutes per game. Then, what was not at all predicted – John Collins was suspended for 25 games.
This thrust Parker into a starting role that he hasn’t had since 2016-17, when he started 50 games.
In the 6 games since Collins was suspended, Parker has averaged 22 points, 8 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 1 block per game while shooting 55%. During last Sunday’s loss to Portland, Jabari scored 27 and pulled down 11 boards, both season highs.
He’s also been a nice deputy to Sheriff Trae Young, handling the ball very well, and taking a couple coast to coast.
The springy athletism that made him so heralded coming out of Duke seems to have returned, the biggest sign that his 2 ACL tears are finally healing.
He’s shooting the three more than ever, and while it’s nice that the 6’8 forward can both catch and shoot, and make his own shots, he’s draining just 28% of them.
Making up for that is the 66% clip he has on 2-point attempts.
The most exciting thing about Parker’s surge is the fact he’s still only 24.
If this is Parker’s true self, and not just a hot start, the signing could really be a big jump in the Hawks’ ongoing rebuild.
Parker does have a player option after this season, so there’s potential of a one-and-done stint in the ATL, but we’re getting way ahead of ourselves here.
Filling in more than competently for Collins, I do think it’s think it’s acceptable to get excited for the rest of Parker’s season however.
While averaging career highs in points, blocks, and both effective field and true shooting percentages, Parker has already made dividends for the free agent signing.
He’ll look to keep it as the Hawks continue their road trip in LA tomorrow against the Clippers.