Tony Parker
Tony Parker
36-Year-Old GuardG
Charlotte Hornets
2018 Fantasy Outlook
This season, Parker will end a 17-year run with the Spurs which included four All-NBA selections and a Finals MVP. He had seen his workload decline each of the past five campaigns -- a situation that ended in him seeing 19.5 minutes per game and losing his starting job to Dejounte Murray last season. Now behind starter Kemba Walker in Charlotte, Parker should be in line for a similar workload, and could hover around 2017-18’s averages of 7.7 points, 3.5 assists and 1.7 rebounds while shooting 45.9 percent from the field. Even Fantasy owners who believe Parker will garner a bigger role have to take into account Parker’s health and age, as he’s averaging only 64.6 games played over the past seven campaigns and recently turned 36 years old. As a result, it’s unlikely he bounces back into Fantasy relevance during his 18th season. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Hornets in July of 2018.
Another big game off bench
GCharlotte Hornets
December 10, 2018
Parker tallied 16 points (6-13 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 4-6 FT), two rebounds, two assists and one steal across 17 minutes Sunday in the Hornets' 119-107 win over the Knicks.
Starting point guard Kemba Walker (31 minutes) played a little less than usual with the Hornets owning a 19-point lead entering the final quarter, affording Parker some extra time to direct the offense. Parker carved up the weak New York defense for his fourth double-digit scoring effort in five games, a span during which he's also chipped in 4.8 assists, two boards and one steal per contest. So long as Walker is healthy, Parker's fantasy upside will be capped, but the veteran could have some usefulness in deeper formats this week. The Hornets aren't exactly facing a murderer's row of opposing defenses during their three-game slate -- home contests against the Pistons, Knicks and Lakers -- so Parker has a good shot at maintaining his hot scoring run.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
At 35 years old and heading into his 14th season in the NBA, Parker's drop in production during the 2016-17 campaign was fully expected. He ended up playing in 63 games before his season was cut short with a ruptured left quadriceps tendon, posting averages of 10.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists. His 25.2 minutes per game were a career low and should continue to fall with coach Gregg Popovich likely looking to keep Parker as fresh as possible for a playoff run. However, the quad injury is the biggest thing to keep in mind for Parker, as it's likely going to keep him out until at least January. That means he'll be in line to miss at least the first three months of the season, which only adds to his diminishing value as a Fantasy player. The Spurs rewarded Patty Mills with a four-year, $50 million contract this offseason and up-and-coming youngster Dejounte Murray showed a ton of promise during his rookie campaign, so it wouldn't be surprising if the Spurs attempted to lean even more on those two even when Parker returns to action. Parker will likely be nothing but a late season flier in deeper leagues.
Battling nagging injuries to his Achilles, ribs, hamstring, ankle, and thigh last season, the 33-year-old Parker is beginning to show his age. Although he played in 68 games in 2014-15, Parker's points per game average and assists per game average fell to their worst marks since his rookie season. Parker averaged 14.4 points, 0.6 three-pointers, 1.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 0.6 steals in 29 minutes per game. While many teams would be pleased with that production at the lead guard spot, it is easy to remember a younger Parker averaging 20.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 7.6 assists, and 0.8 steals in 33 minutes per game just three seasons ago in 2012-13. Though he is showing signs of slowing down, Parker is still the main option at point guard in the starting rotation, backed by Patty Mills and less-established players like Ray McCallum and Jimmer Fredette. With coach Gregg Popovich at the helm, it is likely that Parker's minutes will be kept under 30 minutes per contest again this season and possibly start to decline from there, as Popovich is known to rest his older players and keep their best stuff for the playoffs.
Tony Parker suffered through an injury-riddled campaign in his 13th NBA season, averaging 16.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.1 blocks, and 0.4 three-pointers in 29 minutes per game through 68 games. He shot 50 percent from the field on 13.4 attempts per game and 81 percent from the line on 3.6 attempts per game. Over the previous three seasons, Parker had played 32 minutes per game, and with Mills absent for the first four months of this season, he may see his minutes increased slightly, especially initially. His points and assists were the lowest Parker has recorded since 2009-10, and as a fantasy player, his lack of three-pointers, rebounds, and steals limit his overall value. Still, Parker provides an elite source of field goal percentage for a point guard, with his uncanny knack to get into the paint and finish. In fact, 33 percent of Parker's shot attempts occurred within three feet of the hoop. His lack of three-point shooting hurts him as a fantasy player, and he struggles to create a shot for himself at that range. Of the 25 three-pointers he made last season, 96 percent of those were assisted. Parker is sitting out of the FIBA World Cup this offseason, so hopefully should be fully healthy when the season kicks off at the end of October.
Basketball fans tend to think of the Spurs as a defensive juggernaut driven by Tim Duncan's work in the low post. In reality, the Spurs rolled to the NBA Finals last season thanks, in very large part, to a blindingly efficient offense. And the driver of that offense is Tony Parker. Even after 10 years in the league, Parker remains one of the quickest lead guards in the game and is able to break down just about any defense with his dribble. That allows him to get to the basket with ease – last season's 20.3 ppg was his best since 2008-09 – or set up his teammates for easy buckets – his 7.6 apg last season just missed matching his career-high of 7.7. And he does it without a jump shot that commands any respect – he shot just 35 percent from long range last season, and had just 24 made threes. Unfortunately, his value on the floor doesn't translate quite as well for fantasy purposes. His lack of three-point shooting and steals (under 1.0 spg for much of his career) hurt his value in most leagues. It will be interesting to see if last year's free-throw percentage – a career-best 85 percent – is a sign of improvement or a one-year aberration from a player that usually lands in the mid-70s.
With Tim Duncan closing in on the end of his stellar career and Manu Ginobili always nursing one injury or another, Tony Parker has become the primary driver of the San Antonio offense. "Driver" is the operative word, of course--Parker has never been much of an outside shooter. Defenses play him to make plays off the dribble, but they still have no end of trouble staying in front of him. That said, he's never been a top-tier option in standard fantasy leagues because points and assists--and a pretty good shooting percentage--are essentially all you'll get. Parker has never been a particularly good source of steals, doesn't rebound much, and is a poor three-point shooter. He was injured early in the offseason when caught in a nightclub melee involving two rappers, but was able to recover in time to play for Team France at the London Olympics. He should have a clean bill of health well in advance of training camp.
A year ago, it seemed Tony Parker was the Spur most likely to be traded to help jump-start a youth movement, with George Hill in line to take on more and more of the Spurs’ point guard role. Today, Parker has the security of a contract extension, is coming off one of his most productive seasons as a pro, and with Hill traded to the Pacers and unproven rookie Cory Joseph the only other point on the Spurs roster, his position seems surer than it has in years. Parker finished 2010-11 with a healthy 17.5 ppg average, dished out 6.6 assists per game and shot nearly 52 percent from the field. At just 28 years old (doesn’t it seem like he should be Jason Kidd’s age?) he’s still got years of prime performance left. That said, he does have a history of nagging injuries, especially to his knee, which is always a concern for a player that makes his living with quickness. And Parker has never been one to rack up elite assist totals – partly because Manu Ginobili spends a lot of time initiating the offense – nor is he any sort of outside-shooting threat (just 25 made threes last season). It will be interesting to see if Hill’s departure leads coach Gregg Popovic to increase Parker’s workload in the season ahead, or if Pop is content to use Joseph and/or Gary Neal in Hill’s spot and keep Parker at around 32 minutes per game.
Parker has always been more valuable to the Spurs than he is to any fantasy owner; his poor outside shooting and pedestrian assist totals make him a middle-tier fantasy option at best. Last season, even middle-tier would have been a stretch; hobbled by a series of nagging injuries, Parker was limited to just 56 games played and 16.0 points per game. Entering the final year on his contract, his future with the Spurs is in doubt; while management says it anticipates having Parker on the roster for years to come, there have been indications that coach Gregg Popovic hopes to have George Hill take on some of the point guard duties; it wouldn't be shocking to see Parker average under 30 minutes this season.
The categories where you traditionally want your point guard to excel – assists and outside shooting – aren’t Parker’s strengths; while the likes of Chris Paul and Steve Nash rack up double-digit dimes, Parker will give you seven-and-change, and his outside shot is… to be charitable… a work in progress. The positives in Parker’s game far outweigh those negatives. One of the quickest points in the game, Parker gets to the paint more or less at will and is an outstanding finisher in traffic. As a result, he shoots an excellent percentage from the field. And his shaky jumper doesn’t hurt his percentages – he takes very few shots from downtown. His free-throw shooting has improved – a career 71 percent shooter from the line, Parker has hit better than 78 percent of his freebies in two of the last three seasons. And though it feels like Parker has been in the league forever, he’s still just 27 years old and should be in the prime of his career. Concerns? A couple. Parker was banged up in the offseason, suffering a sprained ankle while competing for Team France. That injury isn’t expected to linger into the season. A bigger issue to watch – how a stacked Spurs team that added Richard Jefferson to the mix with Parker, Tim Duncan and a hopefully-healthy Manu Ginobili – will distribute shot opportunities this season.
Parker is an exceptionally quick point guard, who can break down defenses and get to the rim almost at will. He works the pick-and-roll game to perfection with Tim Duncan and has a perimeter threat in Manu Ginobili. With inside and outside threats, Parker usually has lots of room to operate in the middle. His outside shot isn’t very good, but he rarely takes them, instead using his speed to score from inside the paint. As a result, he’s routinely one of the best backcourt shooting-percentage options in the league. Parker doesn’t pile up the assist numbers that other point guards do, but his scoring is above average and that could rise this year if Ginobili’s ankle injury proves more dire than originally expected. Parker’s not a great defender and could stand to shoot better from the free-throw line, hitting just over 71 percent for his career. The Spurs are an aging team, but at 26, Parker is solidly entrenched as the starting point guard for now and the future.
The complaint about Parker’s game when he entered the league was his shooting, but he’s worked hard on that part of his game. He’s been over 50 percent in each of the last two seasons while scoring more than 18 points per game. He’s not very good from the 3-point line – Parker attempted just 38 from beyond the arc last season – but he’s very quick and gets a lot of his points off drives to the basket. His decision-making can be spotty as evidenced by his 5.4/2.5 career A/TO ratio, so make sure to get a second point guard with better assist numbers.
Yes, he has championship rings and a girlfriend that keeps popping up on the cover of Maxim. That doesn’t make Tony Parker especially useful in fantasy. (Not fantasy basketball, anyway.) Parker’s career scoring average is just 15 ppg, he’s never issued more than 6.1 assists per game in a season, and he’s a terrible free-throw and three-point shooter (just 11 threes made in 2005-06). You’d get better production than that from any one of several guys on this list. Plus, he suffered a broken finger while training with Team France this summer, and may or may not be ready for the start of Spurs training camp. On the other hand… he’s still just 23 years old, so there’s plenty of room for improvement.
Don’t over-value Tony Parker because you’re so used to seeing him win championships. His season totals of 16.6 points and 6.1 assists per game are good, but plenty of other guards with less championship hardware will do as well if not better. The Spurs’ system masks a couple of holes in Parker’s game. Like Tim Duncan, Parker is a poor free-throw shooter (65% in 2004-2005) and is even worse from beyond the arc (.276) even though he shoots a power forward-like 48% from the floor. With Parker’s quickness, he could easily get to the line more often (four attempts per game) but he’ll need to shoot better from the line to make additional attempts worthwhile. On the plus side, he’s just 23 years old – so improvements to his shooting certainly aren’t out of the question.
While it seems like Parker has been around for a while, he's still just 22 years old as he enters his fourth full season in the league. The Spurs are loaded again this season, and Parker's the one driving the bus. Parker shoots for a good percentage for a guard (45 percent), and should again average 15 or more points per game. He should also improve his assist total slightly over his 5.5 average from 03-04. If Parker can take a bigger step forward in either his scoring average or his assist total, he could become more of a fantasy impact player; for now, he's more of a No. 3 or No. 4 fantasy guard.
Parker started all 82 games last season, not bad for a guy who didn't turn 21 until last May. When the Spurs weren't able to sign Jason Kidd, this young point guard earned another 82 starts. His 15.5 ppg and 5.3 apg last season helped also. The Spurs saw last season that Parker can lead the team through the post-season, and we foresee a similar statistical season for Parker.
More Fantasy News
Pops for 20 off bench
GCharlotte Hornets
November 30, 2018
Parker scored 20 points (9-17 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 2-3 FT) while adding nine assists, a rebound and a steal in 33 minutes off the bench during Friday's 119-111 loss to the Jazz.
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Available to play Monday
GCharlotte Hornets
November 26, 2018
Parker (ribs) is available to play Monday against the Bucks.
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Active but will not play Sunday
GCharlotte Hornets
November 25, 2018
Parker is active for Sunday's game against the Hawks, but will not play, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer reports.
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Will play Sunday
GCharlotte Hornets
November 25, 2018
Parker (ribs) will play Sunday against the Hawks.
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Out again Sunday
GCharlotte Hornets
November 24, 2018
Parker (ribs) will remain sidelined for Sunday's matchup with the Hawks.
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