Report: Wizards to decline $20 million option for Jabari Parker, hope to strike new deal

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When the Bulls’ brain trust of Gar Forman and John Paxson gave Chicago native Jabari Parker a two-year, $40 million contract, the rest of the NBA shook its head in disbelief. This was a player struggling to find how his game fits in the NBA, and he was coming off two ACL tears in the same knee, but Chicago made him the team’s highest-paid player.

Not surprisingly, by the middle of the year they were looking to trade Parker, who had fallen out of the rotation.  Chicago lucked into a good trade with the Wizards, who wanted to get rid of Otto Porter‘s contract. Parker played well for the Wizards in 25 games — 15 points and 7.2 rebounds in more than 27 minutes a night, with a PER of 17.

But not “we want to pay him $20 million next season” well, especially after the team drafted Rui Hachimura in the first round. The Wizards are not picking up Parkers’ $20 million option, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, but they do want to re-sign him to a new contract.

The Washington Wizards will decline the 2019-20 team option on Jabari Parker’s contract, and the forward will become an unrestricted free agent on June 30, league sources told Yahoo Sports…

The Wizards are very much open to re-signing Parker and the interest is mutual, sources said.

Both sides would like to work out a new contract, reports Chase Hughes at NBC Sports Washington. The question is the number.

There is some motivation on both sides. The Wizards like Parker’s athleticism and scoring ability and believe he has underrated upside. And Parker genuinely enjoys playing in Washington.

Continuing their partnership, though, may not be cheap. Parker’s asking price is expected to start around $15 million annually, NBC Sports Washington has learned, and that number could go up or down.

That $15 million number seems a little steep from where I’m sitting, but if Parker can get that after a solid end to the season more power to him. Expect him to be back in Washington, there isn’t much of a market for him around the league, not at that number.