The draft is history and Vegas Summer League is officially over, leaving us to consider a scary thought: what the heck are we supposed do now?
It might seem like a long two-plus months between now and training camp, so we're here to offer some ammunition to fill the gap. Yes, there's still plenty of time for trade talk and cap space dreaming, but unfortunately live basketball games will be few and far between. Thankfully, the past week gave us plenty to digest (and over-analyze), so we thought it would be fun to collect all the Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo highlights we could find and put them in one place.
We'll start with Jabari, whose weekend in the desert mostly reaffirmed what we already knew. His bookend games were particularly encouraging--a 17/9 effort vs. Andrew Wiggins and a 20/15 night against an overmatched Warrior team--displaying the sort of inside-out game that will make him a tough cover from the outset of his NBA career.
Not that Vegas answered every question we might have about Parker (hint: it never does). For instance, I came into the week assuming he would be best deployed as a face-up power forward working from the high post and running lots of 1-4 pick-and-rolls, and that's mostly where we saw him in Vegas. But as comfortable as he looked offensively at that spot, I'm also not sure if he's really best suited to banging defensively with power forwards, or whether the Bucks can avoid getting killed on the glass with a hypothetical Sanders/Parker/Antetokounmpo front line. Of course he's also far less accustomed to defending smaller players in space, though he avoided getting exposed in Vegas despite occasionally tired legs and wandering focus.
Offensively, his nominal position is much less important, though it did seem as though he has more "small" skills than many gave him credit for while playing the 4/5 spots at Duke. He can certainly handle the ball and get up and down the court like a wing, and he has the sort of "wiggle"--that combination of ball skills, body control, and athleticism--that you just don't find in players standing 6'9" and 250 pounds. Both his body and game will need to be tightened, honed and polished--his 5.0 turnovers per game speak to that--but there's a ton to work with already.
His positional usage will also depend on what the Bucks' roster looks like come training camp, so it's probably not worth losing too much sleep over at this point; we'll likely see some churn in the Bucks' forward ranks before the summer is over, with Ersan Ilyasova's future particularly important in determining where Parker will fit in come November.
Jabari joins NBATV's The Starters (J.E. Skeets, Tas Melas, Trey Kerby and Leigh Ellis) and talks about the Vegas learning experience, working with Jason Kidd, and his excitement to face the Bulls this season.
Continuing on: Fact Checkin' with The Starters confirms: Jabari is the nicest, sweetest kid ever.