Celtics Tabbed as Ideal Destination for Former No. 2 Pick to Revitalize Career

Marcus Smart sends strong message to Jabari Parker

Getty New Celtics forward Jabari Parker.

The trade deadline has come and gone. Andre Drummond, the biggest name on the buyout market, has been scooped up. However, that doesn’t mean that the Boston Celtics are necessarily out of options when it comes to potentially adding to their current roster.

While names such as Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley — rumored buyout candidates — no longer appear up for grabs, one player that is very much available is former No. 2 pick Jabari Parker. The Sacramento Kings opted to waive the 26-year-old forward late last month as a way to bring the roster down to the league’s maximum allotment following a flurry of trades at the deadline.

Parker cleared waivers and is now looking for a new home. Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley envisions a scenario where the once-perceived franchise cornerstone could help add a much-needed scoring jolt to the Celtics’ second-team and in the midst, potentially revitalizing his NBA career.

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Parker Could Add a Scoring Punch to Boston’s Second Unit

Parker is no longer the future All-Star talent that was once looked at as a viable running mate to Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee. Multiple ACL surgeries have derailed his sky-high upside. His efforts on the defensive end certainly don’t help his cause either. With that said, he’s continuously shown the ability to put the ball in the basket when given the opportunity, scoring at least 14.3 points per game at four different stops throughout his career.

With the Celtics owning the league’s fifth-worst scoring second-unit in basketball (31.9 ppg), Buckley believes “the risk is virtually non-existent” to take a swing at Parker.

“So, why might Boston be interested? Because this bench needs buckets, and few available players get them as effortlessly as Parker,” the B/R columnist wrote. “While his career has unquestionably been a disappointment to date, he still holds career averages of 18.5 points per 36 minutes and a 49.3 field-goal percentage.”

“The Celtics have searched for a second-team scoring spark all season,” Buckley noted. “The fact they’re still searching suggests they might be desperate enough to take former second overall pick, Jabari Parker, for a spin.”

What Parker Brings to the Table

Parker’s production certainly took a hit this season as he appeared in just three games with the Kings, averaging a mere 2.7 ppg prior to his release. In reality, his stint in Sacramento was nothing more than a blip on the radar. In total, he played a combined six games with the franchise upon being acquired in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks in February of 2020.

While that type of output may put Parker on the backburner of many NBA execs’ minds, the 6-foot-8-inch, 245-pound Parker has faired far better in his previous stops across the league. Even with his Sacramento stint, he’s still a near 15.0 ppg scorer. Yes, a large chunk of that output comes from his earlier days with the Bucks. Yet, even after injuries began to strike the forward, he remained an offensive threat. Over his seven-year NBA career, Parker has shot 49.3% from the field and 32% from beyond the arc. He’s also chipped in with 5.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists.


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