Jabari Parker And The History Of Top Picks Recovering From Injury

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Dec 5, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker (12) drives past Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) in the third quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

When Jabari Parker’s crippled body was carried off the floor one fateful mid-December night in Phoenix, Milwaukee Bucks’ fans held their collective breath–hoping against hope that the initial diagnosis of “knee sprain” would stick. The status of the so-called “future of the franchise” was confirmed one night later and upgraded to a complete ACL tear.

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The worst thing that could have happened to the Bucks’ 2014-15 season became a somber reality. The front runner for Rookie of the Year, and rapidly improving, Jabari Parker would miss the rest of his debut season.

Perhaps Bill Simmons put it best tweeting a link summarizing virtually everyone’s simple, concise reaction. The up-and-coming Milwaukee Bucks were once again the Charlie Browns of the NBA–competing, in vain, for elusive and gratifying credibility.

Good grief.

But the Bucks showed resolve, despite the absence of their rookie star, and destroyed everyone’s expectations by not only making the playoffs, but competing with the championship-caliber Chicago Bulls.

Now the lights are becoming ever brighter in Milwaukee, and as next season inches closer and closer the lingering question will be what should we expect from Jabari Parker? Will he pick up where he left off and continue his ascent to NBA greatness? Will he be sidelined by another injury and draw comparisons to Derrick Rose? There’s no way to tell for certain.

What we can do, however, is examine the careers of similar lottery picks who suffered major injuries in their rookie or sophomore seasons, with regards to the before, and after.

The Method

1) Player must be a lottery pick within the last fifteen years.

2) Player must have sustained a major injury (ACL, broken foot, etc) either before, during, or after their rookie or sophomore seasons.

3) We will only examine the player’s production the season immediately before the injury and immediately after (since everyone wants to know how Jabari will play next season).

4) We will assign a “Jabari Outlook” score based on the player’s return from injury.

Without further ado let’s take a look at what we might expect from Jabari Parker next season based on other player’s injuries and recoveries–starting with a familiar face.

Next: T.J. Ford