Scouting Report: Jannero Pargo

Jannero Pargo

Name: Jannero Pargo (pronounced Juh-NAIR-oh)
Position: PG/SG
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 185
Birth Date: October 22, 1979 (29 years old)
Birth Place: Chicago, IL
Number: 2
Nicknames: None
College: Arkansas
Drafted: Undrafted (2002)
Experience: 6 seasons
Previous team: New Orleans (2006-2008)
Contract: $1.9 million in 2009-10
Expect: Instant scoring off the bench
Don’t expect: Shooting efficiency

On offense:
Pargo is a classic shoot-first point guard who seems to regard creating for his teammates as a solid second option. In many ways, he’s a shooting guard trapped in a point guard’s body. Pargo’s offense comes from spot-up jumpers (out to three-point range), midrange jumpers off the pick and roll, and pull-up jumpers off of drives that stop short of the basket. Notice how the three main facets of his offense included the word “jumpers”? That’s because, like Kirk Hinrich, Pargo’s game is jumper-centric. During the 2007-08 season – his last in the NBA — 84 percent of Pargo’s field goal attempts were jump shots. And since only 43 percent of his converted jumpers were assisted, it’s clear he’s looking to create his own shot.

The only problem is that, despite his smooth and fundamentally sound shooting stroke, Pargo’s percentages are terribly low. For his career, he’s connected on 39.5 percent of his field goals and 36.5 of his three-pointers. In his six NBA seasons, Pargo has only shot better than 40 percent twice: 40.7 percent in 2003-04 and 40.9 percent in 2006-07. He’s never shot 40 percent from beyond the arc (his career-high in three-point percentage was 38.8 percent in 2006-07). During the 2007-08 season, Pargo’s Effective Field Goal Percentage on jump shots was 43 percent. His eFG% was only 46 percent when he took the ball to the hoop.

So while Pargo can and will fire it up without hesitation, he’s not a terribly efficient shooter. He’s streaky, though, and he can carry a team with his hot flashes (and kill a team when he goes cold). On an up note, Pargo has hit nearly 85 percent of his career free throws. Unfortunately, he rarely makes it close enough to the rim to draw contact, so he’s averaged only 0.9 free throws in 315 games.

Although Pargo isn’t great at creating open looks for his teammates, he’s a solid passer who can run set plays rarely makes bad decisions. During his last season in the league, Pargo dished out 192 assists while accumulating only 43 “bad pass” turnovers. That works out to 4.5 assists for every pass he throws away. For some perspective on that number, Steve Nash averaged 3.7 assists per bad pass last season.

On defense:
Pargo is relatively short and slight, which at times can make him a defensive liability. He simply doesn’t have the size or strength necessary to man up against big guards (especially shooting guards) or fight through aggressive picks. Pargo tries hard to make up for his physical limitations by being aggressive, adhering to fundamentals (stance, footwork, staying in front of his man, etc.) and using his quick hands to deflect or steal lazy passes (although, for his career, he averages only 1.2 Steals Per 36 Minutes). Basically, Pargo is a solid defensive point guard as long as he isn’t physically overwhelmed.

Miscellaneous:
During the summer of 2008, Pargo signed a one-year contract withthe Russian Super League team Dynamo Moscow. The following January, he negotiated a buyout from his Russian club and signed with the Greek League club Olympiacos Piraeus. Pargo was released by Olympiacoson May 5 of this year and signed with the Bulls on July 13th. So basically, he missed one full NBA season. Moreover, he averaged only 3.5 points and 1.4 assists per game in the Euroleague, which makes me wonder how he’ll adjust to playing against NBA-level competition again. It’s not a huge deal, because he’ll be playing limited minutes off the bench…but it’s worth noting.

Summary:
Pargo isn’t big and doesn’t have great hops, but he’s quick, focused and determined. He can handle the ball and initiate the offense, but Pargo is first and foremost a sniper who’s looking to score. His offense runs hot and cold, but that won’t stop him from bombing away. Pargo won’t shoot a high percentage, but he won’t make a lot of stupid mistakes, either. Results may vary, but he will give his all on offense and defense. Pargo doesn’t have what it takes to start on a regular basis, but he’s an effective roleplayer and can provide a spark (not to mention scoring bursts) when coming off the bench.

Update! From Henry Abbott of TrueHoop: “To me his greatest play to date was his reaction to being assaulted by a frustrated Jason Kidd. The Hornets had the game in hand. Pargo went down really hard, but broke his fall, did some kind of dive roll and literally came up clapping. No way his spirit was broken, and he wasn’t about to let Kidd keep him from a great moment of Hornets basketball. The Hornets, of course, won the game and the series.”

Another Update! From Visiting Thunder Fan (Jax): “I’m from OKC, and got to watch Pargo play with CP3 for a year. At first, no one really knew what to expect from him. At first, it seemed like he missed every shot he took, and I thought he’d be the 3rd string guard on a poor team. But, it didn’t take the guy long to turn into a fan favorite. Yes, his jumper started to fall, and he took TONS of shots just to bail his teammates out of a bad offensive play. But it was his attitude that won people over. Pargo is fearless. Last 10 shots didn’t go in? So. We’re down by 20? So. It’s me and four 8th graders against the Dream Team? So. Let me at ‘em. The dude’s got an ironclad face and a warriors mentality. That Hornet’s team almost made it .500, but other than CP3 and David West there was no offensive threat (Peja was hurt). Rasual Butler turned into a decent scoring wing that year, but hadn’t been terribly impressive the previous year. At times, there was just no one that seemed to know who to go to or what to do, and Pargo just strong willed the team out of their slumps.”

More Pargo:
NBA.com profile
ESPN.com profile
Basketball-Reference profile
82games.com Player Stats
Wikipedia entry

Bonus video:
I couldn’t find any highlight films, but here’s some video of Pargo hitting a trick shot.

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19 Responses to Scouting Report: Jannero Pargo

  1. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    Boppinbob August 26, 2009 at 1:59 pm #

    Pargo ‘s playing time will depend on how effective he is on any given day. If he is hot he will play awhile, if he is cold he will sit quickly. That is the life of a streak shooter.

  2. Darwin Anthony August 26, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    So what you appear to be saying is that the Bulls signed a less effective version of Ben Gordon.

  3. mrgar87@live.com'
    mike killer August 26, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    Overall, I think that adding J. Pargo as a backup guard was a smart move for the Bulls, if someone goes down with a huge injury at the guard spot this season. I still believe he will be more effective in scoring and playing good defense if he gets more minutes. Hopefully that will not happen and Rose, Salmon & Hinrich will stay healthy and Pargo will play his 10-15 minutes per game.

  4. droma3@gmail.com'
    dima August 26, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    i saw pargo at friday’s…i was shocked by how small this guy is…he looks like a regular fit guy, definitely not an nba body- he must be a lot quicker than we give him credit for…also as a side note: he seems like a really good guy…i saw him at friday’s; he was there with his wife and he was just chasing his little kid around while they were waiting for a table…

  5. felipeagarcia87@hotmail.com'
    felipe garcia August 26, 2009 at 9:35 pm #

    I think that adding Pargo as a backup guard was a smart move for the Bulls. He is quick, a good passer, he can score, play defense and a great teammate.

  6. mrgarcia87@yahoo.com'
    andres Lopez August 27, 2009 at 2:00 am #

    I agree as well, I think that adding Pargo to the bulls roster this season was a smart move b-cuz if someone goes down with huge injury at the guard spot. Pargo will be able to put up decent numbers to replace D. Rose, J. Salmon or K. Hinrich numbers. Overall, I hope that does not happen and nobody get hurt with a huge injury this season. I also expect Pargo to play 10-15 per game if everyone is healthy, (hopefully!) lol

  7. mrgarcia87@yahoo.com'
    andres Lopez August 27, 2009 at 2:01 am #

    minutes*

  8. nSosaSr@aol.com'
    DJ August 27, 2009 at 3:25 am #

    I think Pargo was a great pickup guard player to have in the bulls roster. He is a good scorer and defender! I think he is going to average about 7-9 points per game playing 10-15 minutes. Let just hope everyone is healthy and develops their game.

  9. gal.dagon@gmail.com'
    Czernobog August 27, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    I wouldn’t put much stock in those Euroleague numbers. He left Dynamo mid-season because they were going bankrupt, and was added to an already solid Olympiacos lineup as an afterthought. It’s no wonder he didn’t get much PT there.

  10. bscholtens@hotmail.com'
    Brad S. August 27, 2009 at 2:29 pm #

    This was, by far the best move of the entire NBA off-season so far. I think the presence of Janerro make the Bulls a serious title contender. Now if we could only find and re-sign Kornell David to that last roster spot, the Championship would be a lock!

  11. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    Boppinbob August 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    Brad S., I am pretty sure that your sarcasm is appreciated, though un-necessary. As a 4th guard, Pargo is a good addition. He can provide potential scoring off the bench, albeit in spurts. And as the second guard off the bench he will at least be average or better than average.

  12. Visiting Thunder Fan (Jax) August 27, 2009 at 6:06 pm #

    Here via True Hoop.

    I’m from OKC, and got to watch Pargo play with CP3 for a year. At first, no one really knew what to expect from him. At first, it seemed like he missed every shot he took, and I thought he’d be the 3rd string guard on a poor team. But, it didn’t take the guy long to turn into a fan favorite. Yes, his jumper started to fall, and he took TONS of shots just to bail his teammates out of a bad offensive play. But it was his attitude that won people over.

    Pargo is fearless. Last 10 shots didn’t go in? So. We’re down by 20? So. It’s me and four 8th graders against the Dream Team? So. Let me at ‘em.

    The dude’s got an ironclad face and a warriors mentality.

    That Hornet’s team almost made it .500, but other than CP3 and David West there was no offensive threat (Peja was hurt). Rasual Butler turned into a decent scoring wing that year, but hadn’t been terribly impressive the previous year. At times, there was just no one that seemed to know who to go to or what to do, and Pargo just strong willed the team out of their slumps.

    It will be interesting to see how he takes his role on this team. Maybe he turns that volume down some on his shot attempts, I dunno. But I like the attitude the guy brings to the table, and I hope he does well.

    Sorry for being so long-winded. Good Luck this year.

  13. bscholtens@hotmail.com'
    Brad S. August 28, 2009 at 1:08 am #

    Dear Boppin:

    Hi! Welcome to the Bythehorns blog-o-shere. My name is Brad and I strive to read and be an active member of this site daily. Why? Because I love watching the Bulls and I think Matt does a great job blogging about them even when there is no news. Some other readers of note are Andres, Felipe & Killer Mike. Each of them is active everyday as well. Often times we get new people in here and they write nonsense like:

    “Just watch, Deng is going to come back better than ever and the Bulls will be the best team in the eastern conference!!!”

    or…

    “BEN GORDON IS THE BEST! REINSDORF WAS JUST TO CHEAP TO PAY HIM. NOW THE BULLS WILL FINISH LAST AND I WILL BE LAUGHING ALL YEAR!!!”

    I like to take a different tact. I call it optamistic caution. I love the Bulls, but not every move is earth moving, and this is one of them. Janero is a nice guy and seems to work hard, but lets face it: if he was going to be an all-star or even an everyday starter, he would have done it already. I could go on and on about the basketball ramifications, but you already know them so let me put it this way: The optimism in this room was sending my cautionary flags haywire. If Mr. Pargo plays much this year, that is not a good thing for the Bulls. So, I figured a little levity and an old school refernce were in order. You may not have enjoyed it, but you cannot deny that it was better reading than some posts.

    Respectfully yours,
    Brad S.

  14. nSosaSr@aol.com'
    Max power August 28, 2009 at 4:26 am #

    Pargo was a great addiction to the Bulls roster this season. He can hit big shots when the Bulls need it, play good defense man to man defending someone around his height, he is a good passer, a type of player that does not complain and a great teammate to have. I expect him to play around 10-16 minutes and averaging 6- 9 points per game.

  15. spencer.wesley@comcast.net'
    granville waiters August 28, 2009 at 1:19 pm #

    This is probably the most excited I’ve ever been over signing a guy who might play 10mpg if he’s lucky. i think the deep bench matters. i.e. we had to play lindsey hunter last year in the PLAYOFFS. i thought we should have kept pargo when we had him years ago. i wanted to trade BG and keep pargo because its good to have a gunslinger (pargo does have a 30pt playoff game, and a 34pt carreer high) on the team, you just don’t really wanna pay one (BG, J.R. Smith, Jalen Rose). pargo is the right price.

  16. sco@fivethings.com'
    Sco August 28, 2009 at 4:29 pm #

    Pargo is a good pairing with Kirk on 2nd string. Hopefully it’s not often or we have other problems. His is a cheap insurance policy against a injury or mid-season Kirk trade.

  17. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    Boppinbob August 29, 2009 at 2:41 am #

    Hey Brad, I was hoping you were not serious. Signing role players isn’t always exciting. I do like the idea of Pargo as opposed to Hunter. Coming off the bench after Hinrich. Besides this is the time to be optimistic. Da Bears and da Bulls are looking much better than the Cubs :(. The Bulls hopes really ride with Deng and Thomas. If they play to their potential or close to it the Bulls will have a good season.
    Thanks for the reply. I do not expect to sign a big time FA in 2010. That being said we still should be able to get a solid contributor.

  18. basketball@basketballinblog.com'
    jyoung4 August 30, 2009 at 12:58 am #

    Pargo is great as a scoring burst player off the bench, and with Gordon gone, if Rose in on the bench Pargo is a nice shot in the offensive arm to have. Great scouting reports so far!

    http://www.BasketballinBlog.com – NBA News/Discussion

  19. sportytomboy1212@aim.com'
    Max power August 31, 2009 at 2:12 am #

    Pargo is consider one of the best shooting guards in the lead that knows how to hit big shots under pressure playing small minutes.

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