One of the more intriguing secondary story lines of the 2018 NBA off-season is what kind of contract former No. 2 pick and oft-injured Bucks forward Jabari Parker signs and with what team.
The Bucks obviously have the inside track to keeping Parker as he will be restricted, but with two ACL injuries in his first four seasons, paying him max-level money is a big risk that could backfire and severely hamper their ability to build a contender around Giannis Antetokounmpo in the next few years.
There were rumors that Parker and recently fired head coach Jason Kidd had a strained relationship, but when Kidd was fired the tea leaves seemed to be reading that Parker may be back in Milwaukee next season.
Take it for what it is. But, @GeryWoelfel is close to Jabari and the Parker family. This morning @1057FMTheFan he reports Jabari was "very, very close to being traded" at deadline, feels there is "slim to none" chances that Jabari is on Bucks next season. https://t.co/W4tmqz8hzf
— Paul Henning (@brewcitypaul) March 20, 2018
I would love to know where Parker was almost dealt to, I doubt that comes out though. This report suggests that Parker and the Bucks organization don’t have a great relationship and that the Bucks have not made it clear to Parker that they value him as a building block moving forward.
This still begs the question though, what kind of restricted offer sheet will Parker sign with another team this summer?
It feels like Milwaukee’s plan is to allow Parker to sign an offer sheet and see how much money is involved before they decide whether that kind of money is worth the risk.
Or the Bucks may be ready to move on from Parker no matter what, I believe they are in a let the market play itself out approach though.
Parker has played well in limited time since returning in February, averaging 11.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists on 50.6% shooting from the field and 41.5% shooting from three-point range in 21 minutes per game.
Some team will be excited enough to acquire a 23-year-old potential all-star on the open market and will be willing to pay him close to max money, even in a tight market.
If I were to venture a guess, Parker ends up in Dallas in a sign-and-trade deal where the Bucks receive something like Wes Matthews or Dwight Powell in return.