It costs to have high-level talent in the NBA. That’s a concept the Milwaukee Bucks will have to get used to pretty soon. The young team has a bright future as it looks to steadily get better and improve its position in the Eastern Conference. As of now, the Bucks’ future success is in the hands of 22-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo. The All-Star forward carried his team to a sixth-seed in the East. Much of what Giannis accomplished last season was in spite of teammate Jabari Parker missing 31 games due to a second ACL injury in as many years.
According to earlier reports, Parker is progressing in his offseason rehab and could be looking to return to the court sometime near the All-Star break. There is ample motivation for Parker to continue to work his way back to the floor since he will be eligible for a rookie extension this year. Parker and his management team reportedly will be looking to ink a max deal.
Following from Bucks beat reporter Gary Woelfel
With salaries having skyrocketed over the summer, thanks in large measure to an extremely lucrative television contract, multiple sources claim Parker will be seeking a contract similar to the one he expected to receive prior to his latest injury – a max contract of five years for anywhere between $146 million (25 percent of the salary cap) to $175M (30 percent of the cap).
It will be perhaps the biggest assignment new Bucks general manager Jon Horst, who had been the team’s director of basketball operations before his shocking promotion to GM, will ever have deal with in his role.
It won’t be for Mark Bartelstein, Parker’s new agent. Bartelstein, who heads up Chicago-based Priority Sports and Entertainment, is a longtime agent and regarded as one of the premier agents in sports. His company represents nearly 50 current NBA players, including stars like Boston’s Gordon Hayward and Washington’s Bradley Beal.
Woefel continues to indicate that Jabari’s manager and Bucks brass have indeed opened extension talks
“We have had discussions; there has been dialogue,’’ Bartelstein said. “It’s been a positive dialogue. But that’s all I can say at this time.’’
Parker, who was drafted second overall in 2014, is an exceptionally talented player. In his shortened third season, the power forward averaged 20 points, six rebounds, and dished out nearly three assists per game.