Jabari Parker is going to be a fascinating case when he hits restricted free agency this summer. Sure, Parker is only 23 years old and has shown when he’s at his best he’s a dynamic scoring threat. The issue is Parker’s history of knee injuries — a gigantic red flag. It’s to the point that it’s fair to wonder whether a team would be afraid of making a long-term investment in his ability to stay healthy.
Since returning from an ACL injury earlier this year, Parker has suited up 26 times. He’s generally struggled, averaging 11.9 points in 22.7 minutes per game. While those numbers aren’t reflective of how good a healthy Parker has been over the course of his career, they could be reflective of what he will be going forward, which makes him such a unique player to watch this summer.
As for how Parker is approaching free agency, well, a quote he gave to Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post sure makes it sound like he is prepared for the worst. Parker isn’t sure of what his future holds, but he knows that no matter what happens, the Bucks will be in a good spot.
“Honestly, it’s uncertain,” Parker said after a recent practice, in regards to his future in Milwaukee and his restricted free agency this summer. “I know that, just looking from afar, [the Bucks] will be fine.
“But I just have to see what’s going to happen with my future, and that’s uncertain. But I know for them, they’ll be fine regardless. They’ve been doing well.”
Parker is right, the Bucks are going to be fine as long as Giannis Antetokounmpo is suiting up for them. But the team reportedly wouldn’t give him more than $18 million a year when they last sat down to try and negotiate a deal, and it will be fascinating to see if that’s still the case this summer, or if some other team values Parker that much and is willing to gamble on him.
(Via Washington Post)