The Bucks have Giannis Antetokounmpo, one of the NBA’s youngest true stars. They have Khris Middleton, who deserves fringe-All-Star status based on his production (but won’t get it because of his style of play). They have Thon Maker, a second-year center with incredible upside.
They also have Jabari Parker.
Earlier this year, Parker would have been on the list of Milwaukee’s valuable young players. But then he tore his ACL, his second such injury.
The timing was devastating considering Parker is eligible for a rookie-scale contract extension this offseason. However, the setback apparently isn’t altering his starting point in negotiations.
multiple sources claim Parker will be seeking a contract similar to the one he expected to receive prior to his latest injury – a max contract of five years
A max extension projects to be worth $148 million. The Bucks and Parker could even agree to a clause that says, if Parker makes All-NBA or wins Defensive Player of the Year this season, his extension would be worth more – a projected $177 million.
Parker can seek that much. The Bucks just can’t give it to him. No way, no how. Not with that injury.
I wouldn’t have paid Parker that much even before he tore his ACL again. After, it’d be unconscionable. Players who’ve done that twice have typically seen their careers derailed. They were older than the 22-year-old Parker, so that helps. But I’d want to see him prove it before extending him.
If it doesn’t extend him, Milwaukee could make Parker a restricted free agent next offseason. So, there’s no risk of him getting away.
There might be room for a deal now. Parker could get financial security, and the Bucks could get a discount on a starter if he recovers well. But that compromise can’t occur if Parker insists on the max.