Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Today, the rumors that swirled around Jabari Parker and his possible preference for the Chicago Bulls over the Milwaukee Bucks became a substantive report, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Restricted free agent forward Jabari Parker and the Chicago Bulls are progressing on a deal, league sources tell ESPN. Discussions over a number to topics still ongoing.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 13, 2018
Parker, a Chicago native, isn’t expected to have an offer sheet matched by the Milwaukee Bucks. The team has discussed allowing Parker to become an unrestricted free agent by pulling his qualifying offer, but that has yet to happen, league sources said.
There are a couple of things going on here. First, the Bucks seem to have given Jabari the indication that they will not match an offer sheet, before any terms (aka dollars and years) even leaked out. Second, the team has discussed allowing Parker to become an unrestricted free agent by pulling his qualifying offer.
Reportedly, the Bucks considered rescinding the QO in order to let Jabari Parker walk for nothing.
That says something to me. It says that the team not only envisions a future where Parker is not on the team, but that they prefer it. As if it wasn’t clear from the signing of Ersan Ilyasova and Brook Lopez, Milwaukee wants to surround Giannis Antetokounmpo with shooters as often as possible. Parker, while he’s grown into an impressive shooter, does not fit that model because his talent level and playing style demand more control over the offense. The more time Jabari spends with the ball, the less time it’s in Giannis’ hands, and that perhaps was a bridge too far for general manager Jon Horst and head coach Mike Budenholzer. Any mention of rescinding the qualifying offer equates to an effective vote of “no confidence,” which is a remarkable place for the career of a 2nd overall pick to be.
We’ll cover more about what Parker leaving Milwaukee means in a basketball sense, but there are a lot of fans out there who aren’t there yet. To them, I say this:
I do think it’s important to point out that any Bucks fans in their feelings about Jabari’s possible (imminent?) departure are going through something totally reasonable and understandable.— Mitchell Maurer (@Mitchell_NBA) July 13, 2018
JP was the future, still might become a star, and was legitimately good for the city.
It might not feel that way, but this story isn’t over quite yet. We’ll cover further updates as they happen.