Jabari Parker was the No. 2 pick of the Milwaukee Bucks back in 2014. He was projected as a big who could step in right away and provide scoring on the block and possibly spacing out the floor in a Carmelo Anthony kind of way. He just needed to work on his defense, but there were reasons he got picked ahead of the risk that was Joel Embiid and his injuries, or Aaron Gordon, or Marcus Smart, or Julius Randle.
Within three years, the Bucks were bouncing him between the G-League and the big club. By the summer of 2018 the Bucks let him walk and get signed as a free agent by Chicago. Milwaukee had moved on.
Parker, however, still has a place in his heart for the city of Milwaukee — and he would consider a return under the right circumstances. Here is what the current Hawk told Eric Woodyard of ESPN about the new Fiserv Forum.
“It’s real special, man, how they were able to build this building,” Parker told ESPN. “I haven’t played here, but just seeing like the growth of the city, I really like the way that it’s developing.
“It’s just so sad that I’m not able to share it with them and that they moved on, but that’s fine, that’s business. But I do have like a little homesickness from being here. I just miss being here.”
Would he rule out coming back?
“Never. I would never rule out a possible return here,” Parker told ESPN. “I would never do that. It’s just so sad how it ended and I wish I could’ve stayed.”
You have to like that he wishes it ended differently, and better for both sides. Parker has found a rhythm in Atlanta, averaging 16.9 points a game for the Hawks.
Never say never in the NBA, but Parker is not the kind of defender or floor spacer the Bucks prioritize (think Brook Lopez). It seems a longshot he returns.
Milwaukee, however, has a growing and vibrant downtown around their new building — and a lot of people coming to it because of the team they have built.