What’s Next For Bucks and Jabari Parker?
News broke on Friday afternoon that Jabari Parker would not be playing for the rest of the season, and probably, 2018 as well with a torn ACL. The second ACL tear in the same knee where he suffered an ACL tear in 2014. For the past few days, it sent Bucks and their fan base into a collective tailspin that I’m not sure anyone is out of yet. People are still trying to figure what’s going to be the logical next steps for the team, and the future of Parker on this roster. It’s one of those tiring times where you wonder if Bucks are cursed.
Despite a nice win against Indiana on Saturday night, Bucks should be looking towards the lottery this season. Playoffs are a great thing, and it would excite the fan base yet Milwaukee needs another young star. If the organization sees it like I do, they’ll move Greg Monroe and John Henson before the trade deadline. Both players are good pieces on some team, and Bucks can bring back picks or younger talent to the roster. Jason Terry is another name that won’t get much, but I bet a contender would love to have his once-in-awhile three-point shooting plus leadership.
If Bucks can get into the late part of the lottery, they’ll have some options from the exciting Miles Bridges from Michigan State, Creighton’s Justin Patton is a rebounding machine, Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen can shoot for days, and the same can be said for Kentucky’s Malik Monk. There’s a ton of talent in this draft, and while times aren’t good, this draft is full of potential stars.
There’s a curious what if possibility that hangs out, and it’s ‘What if Bucks are better without Jabari and Giannis running the show with Khris Middleton.’ This is a very awkward conversation to have, but let’s be clear, it’s entirely possible. Some of Bucks Twitter has been calling for this for the last two years. It’s the goddamn worst, and I would hate for them to be right. This could easily happen, although if Thon Maker gives the kind of minutes he gave last night on a regular basis, that might be the difference, not the fact Parker is out. Bucks making the playoffs would not surprise me.
As for Parker, Bucks need to make a decision. He’s a free agent after the 2018 season. To me, Milwaukee should see if there’s a way to bring him back for two years and see what’s left. Parker might get a bigger offer somewhere else, and the team should accept that reality. They shouldn’t try to break the bank for a guy whose career might never be what it could have been, but there’s a part of me that things he could still be valuable to this team. Science and training has come a long way, and if anyone can comeback from this, it’s Parker.
Bucks have two more games until All-Star Break, and we’ll see what they look like come February 24th.