Milwaukee Bucks: Letting Jabari Parker walk saved the season

The Milwaukee Bucks might have saved their season last Summer when they decided to allow Jabari Parker to walk in free agency.

There was a lot of hype surrounding the Milwaukee Bucks following the 2014 NBA Draft and their No. 2 overall selection of Jabari Parker. Parker was somewhat local, being from Chicago, and expressed a dedication to the Bucks. The last time the Bucks picked this high was in 2006 when they selected Andrew Bogut with the No. 1 overall pick.

Parker was supposed to be the centerpiece for which the Bucks could rebuild around. Meanwhile, Milwaukee still didn’t know what they had in Giannis Antetokounmpo and didn’t see him as a building block like they would just a year later.

Unfortunately, Parker’s career got off to a rough start as he tore his ACL just 25 games into an impressive rookie season. From there, we pretty much know the story. Parker struggled to fit in with his teammates on the court when he was healthy enough to play and that led to a difficult decision last summer.

Milwaukee had the restricted free agent rights to Parker which meant they could match any offer he signed with another team. However, the Bucks signed Ersan Ilyasova almost immediately after free agency began and that complicated Parker’s situation.

Eventually, the Bucks rescinded Parker’s qualifying offer which made him an unrestricted free agent. Almost simultaneously, Parker signed with the Chicago Bulls and the rest is history.

Parker’s attitude soured down the stretch with the Bucks and his body language didn’t always appear as if he wanted to be in Milwaukee. Upon arriving in Chicago, he mad an infamous statement about defense, “They don’t pay players to play defense.”

If it wasn’t obvious at that point that Parker had no interest in one end of the floor, his play this season has doubled down on that notion. Parker can often be seen standing around, uninterested in playing any sort of on-ball or help defense for the Bulls. He’s almost become a walking joke similar to James Harden a few years ago.

This type of approach to basketball is what the Bucks wanted to get away from. As last Summer began, it appeared they had a difficult choice about whether to bring Parker back or not. Thankfully, it appears general manager Jon Horst and company made a decision almost right away about letting Parker walk.

Now, as the Bucks surge to the top of the NBA, Parker and the Bulls are stuck in a no-win situation. And it appears the Bucks saved their season well before it ever even started.

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