Bucks need to resign Jabari. How about that for a season review? – We will get to that later.
Jabari Parker had high expectations from Bucks fans after returning from his second ACL tear– I think he lived up to them quite well– Jabari provided the Bucks bench with necessary and consistent scoring when there wasn’t always a guarantee that anyone else on the bench would do the same. Jabari showed us that with his loss of weight and the impressive rhythm he showed in his jumper, he can give 25-35 minutes a night and score consistently. Which is all we can ask for granted the circumstances given this season. They key was we saw the most important traits we needed to see from Parker in 2017-18: his health, his bounce, and his jumper.
Defense will always be a concern with Parker, and there are possessions where he decides to take an untimely breather, but in the first round he finished third in defensive field goal percentage as opponents shot only 35% with Parker as the primary defender. It was also apparent that with a loss of weight allowed Parker to move quicker laterally defensively. Parker also finished with one or more steals in 18 of his 31 regular season contests.
He had some poor performances in the beginning of the playoffs that left a sour taste in your mouth, but it is not arguable the games that he was involved and active he was not only impactful, but often the X-factor that put them over the top.
Highlights: Games 3-4-5
We saw Jabari Parker at his peak in the most important stretch of games for the Bucks as they inserted themselves back into the first-round series against Boston. Parker scored 17-16-17 points in that three-game stretch, but the most impressive feat was when his teammates rallied around him after he had some questionable comments about his minutes and role in Games 1 & 2. Parker showed us from his bounce back performance that he can be resilient and when he is playing his best as he did in these three games he can be an asset for this team.
Lowlights: Games 1-2
Jabari Parker played his worst two games of basketball in 2017-18 in Games 1 & 2 in Boston combining to score 2 points on 1/7 from the field in those two games. In those games Parker looked totally disengaged and it’s fair to say that if Jabari isn’t giving you some point production it is hard to play him. This was apparently how Joe Prunty felt also only playing Parker 14 minutes in Game 1 and 10 minutes in Game 2. It was troubling seeing the Bucks lose especially without Parker on the floor battling in key playoff moments as we all expected Parker would once being drafted by Milwaukee. With that being said, it allowed us to begin a discussion about Parker’s consistency concerns.
Grade for Season: B
Just think about this before you bash this grade: Jabari Parker because of his ACL injuries has yet to have consecutive full summers to work and improve his game. To be able to return from those injuries was worth a C at least in my book, but to put up double-digit points in 22/31 contests in the regular season is icing on the cake. Parker definitely left some meat on the bone in some performances, but he showed you that he plenty of spring sand he can supplement his lost spring with a well-rounded offensive skillset.
The ability to score the ball is the main reason for my grade, as he helped the Bucks when they desperately needed a boost when he returned to the lineup. Most importantly, he shot a career high 38% from the deep, which allowed Giannis and Bledsoe a reliable kick out option when they drove to the basket. Although his defense looks improved when Parker was involved he often looked lost on possessions and struggled to make impact on the defensive glass when he was slotted as the power forward when the Bucks went small. Overall, Parker had plenty of highs with a few significant lows, but it all averages out to about a 84% which in my book is solid B.
Here we are finally. It is imperative that the Bucks resign Jabari Parker. With little to no salary cap available even if Jabari isn’t resigned; the Bucks aren’t in any position to lose talent while Giannis is under contract. Since Jabari is a restricted free agent the Bucks will be able to match any offer thrown at the twenty-three-year-old Parker. I am a known Jabari optimist, but I would hate to see the Bucks refuse the opportunity to sign Parker, because if he can stay healthy he could be a reliable scorer and star for the Bucks.
Plus according to Giannis’ comments the day after the season ended. Jabari is coming back.
When asked about Jabari Parker’s pending restricted free agency, Giannis Antetokounmpo was totally confident in saying we didn’t need to talk about it. Said Parker’s not going anywhere and they’d be playing in the new arena together.
— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) April 29, 2018