Jabari Parker enters restricted free agency this offseason which poses a big decision for the Milwaukee Bucks on whether to resign him or let him walk.
Milwaukee Bucks‘ forward Jabari Parker appeared to be on track to live up to his second overall pick status in the 2014 NBA Draft last season before going down with his second torn ACL in three years.
Parker has never been a defensively strong player, but he was excelling on the offensive end, which gave him his first and only positive box plus/minus of his career. He finally added a consistent three-point shot to his repertoire which compliments Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s skillset.
Given all that, Parker’s knee will be the main determining factor in his market cost. He never looked comfortable after returning from the injury. If teams believe that he can get back to his pre-injury form, he may command big money and get priced out of the Bucks’ budget quickly. However, if the market is soft, the team would be smart to consider matching offer sheets sent his way.
Reasons to Re-sign
Parker has steadily developed into the modern NBA power forward with his ability to consistently make threes. Antetokounmpo is the future of this team and, with no clear floor-stretching ability developing, he needs shooters spread around the floor.
New head coach Mike Budenholzer has consistently developed wings throughout his career to perform above their expected levels. Players such as DeMarre Carroll and Kent Bazemore were consistently average role players before they experienced career years in Budenholzer’s offense.
Although he struggles on defense, the Bucks can give him the easier wing assignment with The Greek Freak taking the more difficult matchup. While still recovering from his injured knee, the market should be soft on Parker, which gives the team all the more incentive to bring him back.
Reasons to Let Him Walk
In four seasons, Parker has yet to play more than 76 games due to various injuries, which includes two torn ACLs. A few games here or there are one thing but Parker hasn’t shown the ability to play a full season.
Unfortunately for he and the Bucks, there is no guarantee that he will ever be able to do that. Some teams have cash to burn this offseason and could sign Parker to a massive offer sheet that prices him out of the Bucks’ budget. Parker appears to never be more than an average starter at best in this league. If the Bucks want to get over the first round hump, they need a better supporting cast around Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe.
Ultimately, if Parker’s market is soft, the team could do worse than re-signing him. However, the odds are that some team will throw a lot of money at Parker in hopes he can achieve his pre-injury form.
In a deep draft, along with last year’s first-round pick DJ Wilson, the team could quickly replace Parker and at a discounted rate. It would not be that surprising to see Parker in a different uniform next season.