Kings Trade Rumors: Jabari Parker, Nemanja Bjelica Available Ahead of Deadline

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2021

Sacramento Kings forward Jabari Parker during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. The Kings won 129-125. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

Contending teams may have interest in acquiring a player like Harrison Barnes from the Sacramento Kings ahead of the March 25 trade deadline, but he isn't the player the Kings seem inclined to deal. 

According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, "teams who have called Sacramento have found a willingness to discuss forwards Nemanja Bjelica and Jabari Parker, sources said, but not so much for Barnes."

Parker, 26, has largely been on the fringes of Sacramento's rotation this season, appearing in just three games and averaging 2.7 points per contest. Players like Barnes, Bjelica, Marvin Bagley III and Glenn Robinson III have kept him benched. 

Bjelica, 32, has been a bigger part of the rotation, appearing in 23 total games and averaging 7.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game while shooting 46.1 percent from the field, though he's shot an uncharacteristically poor 29.6 percent from three. For his career, he's a 38.8 percent shooter from beyond the arc. 

Both players are on expiring contracts, which will be favorable for contending teams looking to add frontcourt depth. Neither would offer the positional versatility or overall talent of Barnes, however. 

But with the Kings still within striking distance of a potential playoff spot—remember, the NBA has transitioned to a play-in tournament this year between the Nos. 7-10 seeds in each conference—the team may not be inclined to give up on Barnes just yet. 

At 16-24, they are currently 3.5 games behind the No. 10 seed Memphis Grizzlies. It might be a long shot for the Kings to even make up that ground in the deep West—and getting young players and draft capital in exchange for Barnes would be logical as Sacramento builds around De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton—but it isn't outside the realm of possibility. 

So for now, it appears Sacramento is limiting calls to Parker or Bjelica. The latter should have something of a market, given his shooting at the 4. Parker might be a tougher sell. 


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