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The Milwaukee Bucks have until Oct. 31 to reach an agreement on an extension with Jabari Parker, and the 22-year-old forward reportedly doesn’t plan to give the team a discount in negotiations.
The Racine Journal Times‘ Gery Woelfel reported Parker’s representatives are looking for a five-year contract potentially worth between $146 million and $175 million.
While Parker’s desire for a max extension is understandable, he arguably hasn’t done enough to justify such a significant financial outlay from Milwaukee’s perspective.
Since the Bucks selected him second overall in the 2014 draft, Parker has appeared in 152 games, averaging 15.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists. He was especially good in 2016-17, when he scored 20.1 points a game and shot 36.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Health is a major concern for Parker, though. He played in 25 games as a rookie before suffering a season-ending torn ACL. Then in February, he tore his left ACL once again, which could keep him out until February 2018—and that’s to say nothing of how much the second knee injury may impact his performance going forward.
Despite Parker being eligible for free agency next summer, Bucks general manager Jon Horst didn’t sound like he was in a hurry to get him back on the court.
“For Jabari and the Bucks, this is not about this year,” Horst said in an interview with NBA.com’s Steve Aschburner. “This is about a 22-year-old kid who is one of the best young talents in the league, and making sure he comes back physically in the right way.”
Since he’d only be a restricted free agent, letting Parker test the waters in the offseason is likely Milwaukee’s best move. The potential pitfall is that he’d only sign a qualifying offer and then become an unrestricted free agent in 2019.