Free Agent Targets:  Jabari Parker

By: Jon Balant

 

Jabari Parker

Position: Small Forward

Age: 23

Height/Weight: 6’8”, 245 lbs

College: Duke

Draft: 2014, 2nd overall by Milwaukee Bucks

Previous Team: Milwaukee Bucks

Previous Contract: 3 year/$22.2 million signed in 2014 with Milwaukee (Rookie Deal), followed by $6.8 million club option exercised in 2017-2018 season

Current Status: Restricted Free Agent, Qualifying Offer off $4.3 million (reduced due to starter criteria not being met)

Agent: Mark Bartelstein, Priority Sports

Projected cost: $17 million per year

Career Highlights:

  • Averaged career highs of 20.1 points per game, 6.1 Rebounds per game and 2.8 assists per game in 2016-2017 season.
  • Shot a career high 38.3% from 3-point line this past season.

 

Pros:

  • Elite, polished, natural scorer with ability to shoot from the outside and penetrate/finish at the rim.
  • Uses his body and strength exceptionally well to create space and contact while trying to score.
  • Excellent passing skills and vision for a forward.
  • Not exceptionally fast, but very deliberate and effective first step.
  • Provides the complete wing scoring threat in both transition and half court that the 76ers desperately need.
  • Tremendous basketball IQ and acumen.
  • Would allow them to still retain JJ Reddick; 2 could have synergy, having both played for Duke.
  • Could provide minutes at both the 3 and 4 position for 76ers in various lineup sets.
  • May come at a discount due to his injury history.

 

Cons:

  • Coming off an ACL injury, having torn ligaments in his left knee for the 2nd time in less than 3 years. He has not looked quite the same since returning to Milwaukee’s rotation, despite showing flashes.
  • Chicago native, therefore likely to remain in Milwaukee since the cities are less than 100 miles apart.
  • Restricted Free agent, allowing Milwaukee to match any offer rendered by an outside team. A suitor would likely have to overpay in order to pry him away from the Bucks.
  • Not overly athletic or quick, and relies on strength rather than speed/quickness to create scoring windows. Lack of quickness can leave him susceptible on defense against quicker wings.
  • Not a very fast release on jump shot.

 

Conclusion:

  • This is a high risk, high reward scenario for the 76ers. Gambling on a player approaching “Grant Hill Status” in terms of ability and injury history.  Unfortunately, I don’t think the Sixers will be able to pry Parker away without overpaying for his services.  Personally, I think Parker is a player worth aggressively pursuing, should they strike out on some of the Tier 1 available Free Agents. I would offer him a 1 and 1 “prove it” deal (1 year with 2nd year team option) in the neighborhood of $23 million per year.  It’s an overpay on the financial side, but allows an exit strategy for the Sixers if he does not pan out or gets injured again, but leaving us a window to extend him if things work out.  It also provides Parker with a clear opportunity for him to come to a winning team, but still be the 1st or 2nd scoring option and produce enough to leverage himself for another big pay day down the road.