The Washington Wizards will decline the $20 million team option in the contract of forward Jabari Parker for the 2019-20 NBA season.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported the news, adding Washington and Parker have mutual interest in working out a new deal.
Parker joined the Wiz ahead of the trade deadline in February as part of a deal with the Chicago Bulls that also brought Bobby Portis and a future second-round pick to Washington in exchange for Otto Porter Jr.
The 24-year-old Chicago native is still trying to live up to the hype that followed him after he was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the second overall pick in the 2014 draft.
He averaged 15.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists while shooting 52.3 percent from the field across 25 appearances off the bench after his trade to Washington.
Parker ranked 29th among power forwards in player efficiency rating and 70th at the position in ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus with negative ratings both offensively and defensively during the 2018-19 season.
Although his numbers remained middling after the deal to the Wizards, the Duke product said in April he had started to find a comfort zone in D.C.
“It’s [going] really well, to tell you the truth, just because I always have something to prove each and every game,” Parker told reporters. “If the opportunity is given, I try to embrace it. You know that’s pretty much the story of my career. If the opportunity is given to me, I try to use it to the best of my ability and it just feels real good that I get some leverage to be human, too.”
All told, Parker has finished four of his five seasons with a negative Box Plus-Minus, per Basketball Reference.
Even though he provided an offensive spark off the bench for the Wizards at times during the second half, his overall impact is average at best. In turn, the front office decided the $20 million it would have committed to him for next year can be better utilized elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Parker will have a chance to hit the open market in search of another fresh start and a chance to showcase sustained development during his sixth NBA season.