The forward will miss the rest of the season and likely part of next season.
Bucks forward Jabari Parker suffered a left knee injury during the third quarter of last night’s game vs. Miami at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. This morning, Parker underwent an MRI that revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. Parker will undergo surgery to repair the injury and will miss the remainder of the 2016-17 season. The recovery and rehabilitation period is estimated at 12 months.
There is no silver lining here. This is a brutal injury for Parker and the Bucks.
Milwaukee might — might — find adequate fit replacements in Mirza Teletovic, Michael Beasley or Thon Maker. But all are massive talent downgrades. Using John Henson, Greg Monroe, Roy Hibbert and/or Spencer Hawes in two-big lineups would drastically change the team’s style.
Parker was having a career year, averaging 20.1 points per game and becoming the true stretch four the Bucks needed him to be. Improved playmaking also showed the all-around potential that made Parker the No. 2 pick in the 2014 draft.
Two games and three games out of playoff position, Milwaukee faces even more daunting postseason odds now. The Bucks might even become sellers before the trade deadline (beyond Miles Plumlee‘s bloated contract), though Khris Middleton‘s return could buoy them and Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s incredible production will prevent too deep of a slide.
Parker will be eligible for a contract extension this offseason, and this injury — his second ACL tear in his left knee — will only complicate negotiations. Parker also missed most of his rookie year with the same injury. Was he always especially prone to this tear? Is he more susceptible now? Both sides will dig into those questions when determining Parker’s long-term value.
For now, this is a real short-term setback to everyone involved.