The list of NBA stars I can recall currently playing on a knee that suffered two ACL tears is as follows:
- Davis Bertans
Such is the uphill climb that Jabari Parker, the Bucks offensively adept and defensively deficient forward faces for the rest of his career. Careening into third on our list, Parker’s value dipped from his second place perch in last year’s rankings. That development is unsurprising though given the unfortunate tear that took his refurbished ACL once more. However, his performance last year was more than enough to keep Bucks fans heartened about his offensive potential should he return to some facsimile of the player he once was.
Perhaps most importantly, he put aside the troubling chatter of disliking the 3-pointer to boast a career-best 21.9% 3-point attempt rate, a considerable jump from his previous best of 6.1% as a rookie. While his 36.5% rate on those jumpers isn’t elite, it’s more than enough to keep defenders honest against him around the arc. That honesty is what leads to his destructive dunks at the rim too. Few guys Jabari’s size have his catlike feet and airtight handle, which allows him to barrel past defenders closing out to the perimeter before skying through the lane for a dunk or finesse finish.
He added some bullyball to his game last year too, channeling his powerful base (and booty) into easy looks at the rim against smaller defenders. Indeed, on his albeit limited 1.1 post-ups per game, Jabari ranked in the 87th percentile averaging 1.04 points per possessions. While that’s certainly not the most appealing part of his game, it was a welcome addition for a player who could be prone to pulling up for difficult midrange jumpers, a space where he shot 37.5% on 3.5 attempts per game.
Unfortunately, as talented as Jabari was on the offensive end, he was all too often a negative on the defensive end. Milwaukee tried to mitigate that by “hiding” him against primary wing ball handlers, but oftentimes his abilities just weren’t up to the task. Those deficiencies are compounded when he’s forced to switch and operate in space defensively. He was prone to mental lapses, missing rotations and letting folks get open looks from around the perimeter. That’s reflective in the team numbers too, as the Bucks posted an eye-sore 109.3 defensive rating with Parker on the court versus a stingy 104.1 with him on the bench. Of course, that’s not a perfect statistic considering the aloof Miles Plumlee boasted the best on court defensive rating (102) among all primary Bucks players last year, but I think that gulf is still instructive when discussing Jabari’s defensive struggles.
Regardless, it’s clear Parker’s value is more in flux than ever since the Bucks drafted him second overall. Milwaukee could sign him to a contract this fall to avoid him hitting restricted free agency next year, but they’d be diving into incredibly murky waters. Even if Jabari returns and looks competent, there’s no way to know his longevity given his iffy injury history to this point. Colored by his complex contract situation and the dual ACL tears, third is probably the right spot for Jabari at this point.
Brew Hoop 2017-18 Roster Ranking
4. Malcolm Brogdon
5. Thon Maker
6. Greg Monroe
7. Tony Snell
8. D.J. Wilson
9. Matthew Dellavedova
10. Sterling Brown
11. Mirza Teletovic
12. John Henson
13. Rashad Vaughn
14. Spencer Hawes
15. Gary Payton II
The 2nd Most Valuable Player on the Bucks Roster is...
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