Jabari Parker played so well in his 25 games last season, I strongly considered him for my All-Rookie second team. That was partially due to a weak rookie class, but Parker’s production – 12.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game – played a part.
Bucks coach Jason Kidd didn’t think the No. 2 pick accomplished quite as much.
Kidd, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“Someone asked a good question. I didn’t have the answer: ‘Is he still a rookie this year because he only played 18 games?'” Kidd said before the Bucks logged a 110-101 preseason win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday. “And so I don’t know the answer to that, but in our eyes, he’s still a rookie.”
Technically, no, Parker is not a rookie. If someone plays even one game in a prior season, he’s no longer a rookie.
I’m a little perplexed Kidd still considers Parker a rookie. Sure, Parker might have progressed more on his weaknesses – namely outside shooting and defense – with a healthy season. But, overall, he seems about as seasoned as a typical second-year lottery pick.
Parker, who tore his ACL in December, participated fully in Milwaukee’s first preseason practice. Yet, he has yet to play in a preseason game.
The Bucks are really treating him with kid gloves.