This year’s rookie class is off to its worst start statistically in 10 years, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t first-year players who are making an impact.
Jabari Parker was seen by many as perhaps the most NBA-ready player coming out of the draft, and a month or so into the season, he’s done nothing to disprove those assertions.
But he could be shining even more, if he were receiving a bigger share of the on-court minutes.
There are some scouts and executives around the league who believe that Bucks head coach Jason Kidd is slowing Parker’s development by not fully turning him loose.
“We are deep and I’m trying to keep – not on purpose, but in a sense – minutes down because it’s a long season,” Kidd said. “For Jabari, he’s never seen 82 games.” …
“Kidd’s hurting Jabari by not giving him enough playing time,” an Eastern Conference scout told SheridanHoops. “He’s 19 years old. He should be playing at least 35 minutes a game. Instead, he’s playing 29. That sounds like not a big deal, but seven or eight minutes per game adds up. It’s a lot of experience.”
“In this day and age you play him,” an Eastern Conference executive told SheridanHoops. “The whole resting him because he’s so young, let him get that ‘I want to play every night and not want to come out’ mentality.”
“The best way you learn is on the court,” another Eastern Conference scout told SheridanHoops.
For what it’s worth, Kidd’s minutes distribution for his top rookie isn’t at all outrageous when compared to others around the league. Parker is averaging 29.6 minutes per contest, which is third among all rookies behind only Nerlens Noel of the Sixers (30.4) and Bojan Bogdanovic of the Nets (30.7).
Playing a rookie more minutes as a way to develop him is an organizational decision. If Milwaukee felt that’s what was right, then the order would come down from the front office to make sure it happened. Parker’s minutes are among the most in the league among rookie players, and as long as it stays that way, Kidd and the Bucks are likely to be satisfied with the results.