By Justin Batiste
The Bucks have until the start of the season to offer Parker a contraction extension or he will be a restricted free agent next year. The question is, should the Bucks do it?
When entering the NBA in 2014, Jabari Parker had high expectations. While at Duke, Parker was NBA ready after his freshman year averaging nearly a double-double of 19.1 ppg and 8.7 rbg. His best comparison, in my opinion, was to Carmelo Anthony.
Parker was a big forward who could score inside, while also being able to shoot a pull up jumper from mid-range effectively–just like Anthony. In the last three years, Parker has only played in 152 games while averaging 15.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg, and 2.1 apg , which are decent numbers.
Last season, Parker averaged 20.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, and 2.8 apg through 51 games but was then sidelined again by yet another ACL tear.
In his short career, Parker has unfortunately already suffered two ACL tears. So the question for the Bucks right now is: do you offer Parker a max contract before the start of the season?
As of right now, the Bucks and Parkers’ camp are still in the process of negotiating his contract. Parker reportedly expects to get a contract extension of $150 million over five years. But if the Bucks decide to give Parker that large of a contract, he will be getting paid more than Giannis Antetokounmpo, the team’s franchise player. That’s a situation which doesn’t make much sense for Milwaukee.
Parker is a good player but he’s not a durable one. He hasn’t even played a full season at this stage of his career yet he wants to be compensated like a healthy franchise player. If the Bucks and Parker aren’t able to reach an agreement before the start of the season (which I don’t think they will), Parker will be a restricted free agent next year.
Parker is a big piece to the Bucks’ puzzle but I can’t fathom Milwaukee giving Parker more money than Antetokounmpo. Doing so could cause problems between the two players, and the Bucks don’t need any friction within a young team.
It would be best for Milwaukee to let Parker play out the season and then go from there. He isn’t expected to come to back until 2018 so he’ll miss the start of the NBA season. The Bucks should decide what to do with the injury-prone star then.