Toward the end of the 2017-2018 season, the Sacramento Kings dispatched a player personnel official to Milwaukee. The Kings employee didn’t go to Milwaukee to file a report on the Bucks as the Kings weren’t going to play them again the rest of the season. More likely, the Kings official was in Beer Town doing some research on Jabari Parker, the Bucks young and talented combo forward who’ll become a restricted free agent on July 1. The Kings are, according to league sources, just one of numerous teams that wouldn’t mind having Parker on their roster next season.
Some league sources regard Parker, who turned 23 on March 15, to be among a small tier of players below a cast of coveted superstar free agents like LeBron James, Chris Paul and Paul George. Of course, under NBA free agency rules, the Bucks can match any financial offer presented to Parker.
While Parker agreeing to an offer sheet is a real possibility, some NBA officials contend a more likely scenario is Parker agreeing to a sign-and-trade deal. The Bucks undoubtedly would prefer a sign-and-trade as they could at least recoup something for a player who former Bucks coach Jason Kidd just last year said, along with Giannis Antekounmpo, was untouchable. It’s no secret the Bucks would be receptive to upgrading their center and/or point guard positions via a sign-and-trade arrangement.
NBC Sports California has confirmed that Sacramento is interested in Parker, but the money has to be right. It will be a balancing act between trying to woo a player, paying enough so the Bucks don’t match and keeping the team’s salary flexibility long-term. The Bucks added scorers last season and they might be ready for life after Parker. The injuries setbacks have taken him from cornerstone to question mark, but they’ll likely match up to a certain dollar amount.
Eric Nehm: Giannis, when asked about Jabari Parker: "We don't need to talk about Jabari. He's coming back."
During a wide-ranging discussion on the radio Thursday, Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker gave candid remarks regarding his pending restricted free agency, a subject that he has said multiple times this season has been a difficult situation.
Michaels: “In your mind, are you still a Milwaukee Buck that is going to bring with Giannis (Antetokounmpo) a championship back to this city?” Jabari Parker: “I hope so. I always had aspirations. I’m pretty comfortable here, but at the end of the day it wasn’t in my control and that’s the unfortunate part.”
Fifer: “How do you look at it from a player perspective, Jabari, now that you’re coming up on this situation and it’s kind of played out already?” Jabari Parker: “The team has to be professional about it, right? They have to understand their strengths and weaknesses. As far as Milwaukee goes, it’s not like a huge target for free agents and I was willing to take that into consideration because it’s home to me, I turned it into home. When it comes to a player like myself, I wasn’t desiring the max (contract). I just wanted security, that’s all I wanted. But then I get an offer that was not what I wanted, it was not fair.”
Fifer: “ESPN reported months back that they offered you three (years) and $54 (million), which is like $18 million a year.” Jabari Parker: “Shoot, I wish. ... Now you know.
While Parker's focus is on each game and ultimately his first chance to participate in the playoffs, Parker hopes everything that is happening now will lead him to stay in Milwaukee for seasons to come. “Yeah, it definitely is a hope," Parker said. "I never really wanted to leave in the first place. This summer was kind of tough on me when I was going through my contract extension, but you know, you’ve got to move on and hopefully it ends in a good place.”
The Parker-Antetokounmpo pairing is no longer looked at as the foundation upon which the Bucks are being built, and after a slow season in which he’s averaging just 11.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, Parker may soon find himself as not part of Milwaukee’s future at all. “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.”
Still, it’s clear he’s ready for a contentious round of negotiations — and a potential change of address. “You just have to be prepared,” Parker said. “Prepare for the worst. “Anything can happen. I’ve seen it happen a lot of times. So I just would like to keep that mentality because you never want to be comfortable in this business.”
Steve Kyler: The Bucks explored a lot of things - but ultimately keeping Jabri won out. I was told they will match on him, but that doesn't mean he's long-term yet. They won't be a cap space team, so there is no reason not to retain him. twitter.com/bigsherm909/st…
Paul Henning: 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. Alex Lasry: This is fake news.
Paul Henning: 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. Describing it as a mutual fallout between Bucks/Jabari that is rooted in Kidd's treatment of Jabari since he was drafted. Bucks hold the cards with Jabari's Restricted Free Agency ability to match. But, losing Jabari for nothing would be a huge blow to this teams future.
The restricted-free-agent market might have more realistic targets for the Spurs. Aaron Gordon and Jabari Parker are intriguing options; the Spurs could fit either into their cap space (even if they extend Leonard) if they choose not to re-sign any pending free agents and the players with options decide to test the market.
The Mirza Teletovic $10.5M 2018-19 salary will count against the cap until November 7. The early November date is when Teletovic last played in an NBA game and when Milwaukee can first apply to have his salary removed. The potential cap relief will help Milwaukee stay under the $121M luxury tax next season. The Bucks, not including Teletovic have $97M in salary and will have a big decision with restricted free agent Jabari Parker. Milwaukee would not have been under the cap this summer even if they received cap relief at the time of the waiver. However, with the Teletovic money still counting, Milwaukee could face hard cap restrictions if they elect to use the full $8.6M mid-level exception.
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.
June 14, 2021 | 9:43 am EDT Update
“They’re really loaded on him,” Rivers said. “We showed him on film, the flow pass the bounce pass are the two areas where we’re going to need him to be great.” Harris’ scoring is still his calling card and the area that you look at first to cite his playoff improvement: Through eight games, he’s averaging 23.6 points per game on 60 percent true shooting this postseason compared to 15.8 points per game on 46 percent true shooting in last season’s sweep against Boston in the bubble. But especially on those backup units, teams might force Harris to be a distributor. In Game 3, he looked up to the challenge.
Rivers joked on Sunday about how he doesn’t like “football players” in basketball, emphasizing that you can’t rest on defense in basketball. For Korkmaz, who gets on the floor because of his shooting, the defensive side is where he is forced to work harder. “Furk is doing all the little things that are required out of him,” Rivers said. “We’re not asking him to be Ben. But we’re asking him to be a better version of himself defensively. And I think he’s doing that.”
But with the Nuggets’ season on the line, and their two best players — Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray — out (Jokic was ejected at the 3:52 mark of the third quarter due to a flagrant foul 2), Denver scored 43 points over roughly the final 16 minutes. The Suns suffered a bit of a defensive letdown. “We know when we’re not playing the type of defense that we need to be playing,” Devin Booker said after the game. “So we communicate that amongst each other, and we tell each other ‘It’s time to lock in.’ And that’s what we do. But we saw a different style of offense once Jokic went out. Them having JaVale (McGee) picking and rolling to the rim.
Both of them get it, that life is bigger despite being uber-competitive. Paul is known for his relentlessness on the court that borders on maniacal. But even when he was going through his shoulder issues, he kept making it clear people are going through worse and he’d be fine. “To be on this journey with him and to see it paying off is nice,” Paul said. “We’re a lot alike. We stay locked in. I don’t feel good until the buzzer sounds. Mont’s the same way. When the series is over, and the game is over, it’s nice to share those moments.”
Davis, a member of the Celtics’ 2008 championship-winning squad, had some thoughts on the injury. In an Instagram reply, Davis seemed to imply that it was a result of basketball karma after Irving stomped on Boston’s center court logo earlier in the playoffs. “Karma is real. Energy is real no matter what you guys say,” Davis said in another IG comment. “That logo means something negative or positive. Ky wished that on hisself (sic). Energy is real, always have respect for other no matter if its (sic) a logo are (sic) not.”
June 14, 2021 | 8:27 am EDT Update
A gold medal is one thing missing from his resume, but he said he has yet to make up his mind. He continues to look at the logistics of playing in Tokyo. He is curious to learn which other players are planning to go and to see how strong the team will be. “I’m literally 50-50,” he said of his decision. “I probably need to decide in the next two weeks.”