Jabari Parker’s rookie deal is up at the end of this season and the former No. 2 pick of the 2014 NBA Draft did not sign an extension with the team before the deadline this past October.
This is likely because Parker was in the midst of recovering from his second torn ACL in his brief four-year NBA career, which understandably gave Milwaukee some pause before committing to a long-term extension for max level money.
Does that mean that the Bucks didn’t offer any sort of extension to Parker? We didn’t know, until now.
Here is a report from Zach Lowe of ESPN:
“The Bucks were prepared during those October talks to offer a three-year deal worth around $54 million, according to sources familiar with the discussions. The two sides discussed other permutations — shorter deals, incentive-laden four-year deals — and the talks never narrowed to a single on-paper offer. Still: Milwaukee’s upper limit in annual salary — about $18 million per season — was clear, sources say.”
This is very interesting and gives us a glimpse into the Bucks and Parker’s camp’s thought process and what they think he is worth.
I feel like the three-year, $54 million incentive laden offer by the Bucks was a very savvy move as Parker flashed the ability to develop into the future All-Star they banked on him being when they took him with the No. 2 pick (he averaged 20 and 6 on 49% shooting and 36% three-point shooting before his injury last February).
Parker and his agent have to know that his production levels and durability has not made him worthy of the type of max contracts his fellow top three draft picks, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid received this past fall, at five years and $146.5 million, although Embiid has had even more issues than Parker.
He also could command more than $18 million annually and garner a longer deal (if that is what he wants) from some other team in restricted free agency this summer, especially if he plays well over the last 25 games.
I still see a star in Parker, but he is a below average defender with a middling three-point shot and a scary injury history at this point. That means he will likely have to accept less than what he feels like he is worth this summer, whether that is in Milwaukee or elsewhere.
While LeBron James’ decision will of course take over the sports world for a few weeks this July, what kind of deal Parker signs and with whom will be an interesting subplot.