On Sunday afternoon, various NBA insiders reported the release of former #2 overall draft pick Jabari Parker, just three days before the Boston Celtics’ season opener against the Knicks. This leaves Boston with one open roster spot, having their pick of the litter on who to fill it with.
Parker was a late-season addition for Boston last year, hoping to bring an offensive spark to an injury-riddled roster. Jabari ended up playing in ten regular-season games, averaging 6.4 points in 13.8 minutes of action.
His release leaves $100,000 in dead money on the books for this upcoming season but allows the front office to acquire a different player in his spot. Some reports indicate Boston wanting to sign another big man with the early season health of both Al Horford and Robert Williams in jeopardy.
Jabari Parker is no longer on the Boston Celtics
Parker provided a veteran presence to an extremely young 2019-20 Boston Celtics bench, being able to get his own bucket whenever he liked. He even made an appearance in the team’s lone playoff series against the Nets, and performed reasonably well, scoring ten and 13 points in games four and five, respectively.
Jabari’s problem on the court has always been his lack of defensive skills, almost always being too slow to guard any perimeter player in space. This leaves him to be a small-ball center in most modern lineups, which creates an advantage on the offensive side of the ball but leaves him guarding 7 footers in the post on the other end of the floor, who can easily abuse his lack of size.
Many thought Parker would make the final 15 man roster, as he even started Friday’s preseason game against Miami. In the preseason, he showed evolution in his offensive game, both taking defenders off the dribble, as well as being able to spot up and hit shots from beyond the arc.
In three games, he scored 21 points on 8/20 from the field and 3/6 from downtown. As an end-of-the-bench guy, he would have provided veteran leadership and a spark to the offensive whenever they became stagnant. Therefore, he seemed like a lock for the final roster spot up for contention.
However, Brad Stevens decided to go in a different direction, with this decision perhaps being in connection with Harry Giles‘ release from the Los Angeles Clippers. Giles is a potential candidate to come to the Celtics, as he would have to be added through a traditional roster spot and not a two-way contract since he is not eligible.
Giles is a longtime friend of star Jayson Tatum, dating back to their days as teammates at Duke. On the court, Giles has shown the ability to both finish at the rim and work in the mid-range game. At only 23 years old, he has lots of untapped potential, with both the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers failing to develop him.
This may be an opportunity for Giles to learn under coach Udoka, with the possibility for playing time early in the year.
The Boston Celtics decided to let go of Jabari Parker despite a promising preseason – who will they go after to round out their roster?