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Jabari Parker exercises player option to stay with Kings

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The 25-year-old will make $6.5 million this season.

Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

After a stunning late-night deal that saw Bogdan Bogdanovic shipped to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Sacramento Kings get some news about a player who intends on staying with the franchise.

Jabari Parker exercised his $6.5 million player option to remain with the Kings. Sacramento acquired Parker from the Atlanta Hawks in February along with Alex Len and two second-round picks for Dewayne Dedmon.

Parker only played in six games for Sacramento, averaging 8.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in just over 13 minutes per contest. The 2014 No. 2 overall pick has struggled to stay healthy throughout his NBA career with various injuries forcing Parker to miss time in each of his five stops.

The 25-year-old’s decision to opt in doesn’t hurt Kings general manager Monte McNair’s bottom line too much going into the start of free agency. With the league’s revenue taking a hit due to the pandemic, it’s not surprising to see Parker use his option for a guaranteed salary for this upcoming season.

Sacramento head coach Luke Walton used Parker at the four and the five almost evenly during the NBA restart in Orlando. Although it is a small sample size, Parker’s 105.2 defensive rating over five games in the bubble was the best of any Kings player. He was also remarkably efficient on the offensive end, with a true shooting percentage of 71.8.

With the Kings ostensibly headed towards a rebuild (signaled by the Bogdanovic trade), the team might give more opportunities to Parker than he received during the end of the regular season as Sacramento tried to make the playoffs.