The Boston Celtics have a plan for newly-signed Jabari Parker.
Parker and the Celtics agreed to a two-year deal Friday night. Boston is Parker’s sixth team in as many seasons, which points to his failure to meet the expectations that come with being the No. 2 selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, but he presents upside to Boston nonetheless.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens expressed just that with a 211-word response when asked about Boston’s newest depth piece.
“Jabari has been a good player in the league for a few years now, and he’s obviously had a rough couple of last stops,” Stevens told reporters during his video conference before Saturday’s game against the Golden State Warriors. “This is, as you saw by the details that came out, is a plan beyond this year. We’re going to be patient in bringing him along.”
Parker was released by the Sacramento Kings after the NBA trade deadline. The Duke product had been traded before that after being drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks.
The 26-year-old has been known as a player who can get to the basket. He provides offense, which the Celtics bench, save for Evan Fournier, who was acquired at the trade deadline, sorely needs. His defense is simply not a calling card.
“We’re looking mostly at him as a guy who can play some four (power forward) for us but also some small-ball five (center) in some lineups,” Stevens said. “Especially around some of our better players as a ball mover, as a passer, as a playmaker, as a driver, as a guy that can put the ball in the basket and is a real threat to put the ball in the basket.
“Obviously, there will be some size challenges with that but we can, right now, it hasn’t always been the case this year, but right now we can put a pretty versatile group on that floor and just having more option depending on who we’re playing as we’re moving forward into this year, and also next year, we thought that was a really good thing for our team.”
Parker has averaged 14.8 points and 5.7 rebounds in 288 career games. He played just three games with the Kings this season and averaged 2.7 points and 2.0 rebounds in nine minutes per contest.
“Hopefully this is a place where he can re-find his groove,” Stevens said. “That’s important, and we’re going to work hard to help him.”
Parker will be available for the Celtics when they host the Warriors on Saturday, with tip-off set for 8:30 p.m. ET.