While this summer Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker becomes a free agent, his current focus is how to improve himself and take advantage of each and every game in order to return to form And after that? “It’s really out of my control at that point,” Parker told Eurohoops. “I’ll do my best to be here (Milwaukee). I’ll do my best to make myself available. But at the end of the day, it’s about whether they look at it as a business.”
Next season, 12 teams are currently projected to be in luxury tax territory, and another handful could easily get there by re-signing their key free agents. For example, the Milwaukee Bucks aren't currently projected to be in the tax but would cross into the zone if they re-sign free-agent-to-be Jabari Parker. "The luxury tax was not designed for this many teams to pay it," a league executive said. "Many of those owners probably didn't think they'd be paying it. Quite a few of those teams are probably going to take steps to get out of the tax or limit new spending."
Parker conceives of himself as a star -- a max player. Extension talks between Parker and Bucks fizzled in October, and Parker will enter restricted free agency this summer. 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.
Jabari Parker conceives of himself as a star -- a max player. Extension talks between Parker and Bucks fizzled in October, and Parker will enter restricted free agency this summer. 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.
Bucks sources have aggressively downplayed the idea that the team would trade Parker, although they admit the cap situation with his pending free agency could make this tight, but ownership at least seems to be onboard with re-signing Parker in July if management wants to go down that path.
Parker and Bartelstein wouldn’t comment on specifics on a potential new deal, but those familiar with both individuals insist that Bartelstein/Parker won’t settle for anything less than a max contract. If the Bucks and Bartelstein can’t reach a deal before the deadline, Parker would become a restricted free agent after this season. It would mean the Bucks could then match any offer presented to Parker and retain his services. If a settlement isn’t reached at that point, Parker would become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019 and would be eligible to sign with any team – without the Bucks receiving any compensation.
September 21, 2021 | 3:53 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Free agent guard Quinn Cook is signing a non-guaranteed deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Harrison Wind: Monte Morris says he hopes he’s the starting point guard on opening night, but that conversation with Malone about who Denver’s starter is with Jamal Murray out hasn’t happened yet. He said he wants to earn the job in training camp though and not just have it handed to him.
September 21, 2021 | 1:36 pm EDT Update
Complicating matters with that caveat of right now, of course, is the reality that the Sixers also do not appear close to a trade they are willing to go through with that gives Simmons his desired fresh start. More than two months after posting one of my Tuesday newsletter extravaganzas on Substack for the first time on July 13 — also a breakdown, on that occasion, of the latest on the Simmons front — Philadelphia looks no closer to a trade to bring an end to this stalemate.
Weeks of Philadelphia’s Simmons talks with various teams haven’t brought the Sixers to the brink of a deal, largely because Morey is the one faced with trying to get commensurate value for his All-Star and still asking for so much in return in his determination to recoup a trade package that, as one source put it, keeps Philadelphia in title contention. History, however, says that Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations shouldn’t count on getting a glittering package back when a deal finally materializes — his own history.
I reported Monday that the Sixers don’t expect Simmons to show and are resigned to try to keep working behind the scenes to try to convince him to reconsider that stance. After I published that, another source close to the situation told me: “Right now, I don’t see a scenario where Ben is back in Philly.” The source meant it with permanence. As in: Simmons’ career with the Sixers, to the source, is over.
I was told very clearly that the Sixers do not liken these circumstances to Al Horford’s last season in Oklahoma City or John Wall’s in Houston. As the start of training camp draws near, Philadelphia has shown zero interest to date in striking the sort of mutual agreement that Wall and the Rockets just hatched to shelve the former All-Star point guard.
The Sixers have not lowered the bar on what they’re seeking in a Simmons trade — yet. Toronto, Minnesota, Cleveland, San Antonio and Sacramento — all of them, league sources say, have engaged with Philadelphia in Simmons trade talks. They’re also all bubble playoff teams at best based in markets not known for attracting free agents and surely love the idea of acquiring Simmons when the 25-year-old is locked into three guaranteed seasons on his contract after this one.