Milwaukee Bucks: Risk and reward of a potential Jabari Parker contract extension

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /


Two main deadlines lie ahead for Jabari Parker and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks have until Oct. 31, 2017 to offer an extension to Parker, and until Jun. 29, 2018 to make a qualifying offer and make him a restricted free agent.

The issue lies in the fact that Parker is not expected back until some time around the 2018 All-Star break. This would put Parker playing his first NBA minutes post-injury in Feb. 2018, and at best giving him the opportunity to play in 30-40 games next season.

While Parker’s health remains an issue, this also is an opportunity to offer Parker an extension at a discounted rate. If the Bucks were to wait until after the Oct. 31 deadline and instead make a qualifying offer, Parker would become a restricted free agent (RFA), similar to the Tony Snell contract situation this summer.

Parker would be able to see what the free agent market would offer and allow the Bucks to match any potential offer.

The Bucks could go this route as it would allow more time to see if Parker is healthy. Teams may be unwilling to offer a large contract with the unknowns of Parker’s health and only a small sample of games next season. However, if he did return playing well, he could end up fielding more lucrative offers than Milwaukee could secure him for at present. Very few young franchise players are available via free agency at the age of 23 years old, coming back from injury or not.

Another franchise could offer a max deal and the Bucks would lose all negotiation leverage. The Bucks could still match an offer from another team, but they would lose the ability to dictate the term and amount of the contract. In this kind of situation, simply being seen to match a deal can even come back to haunt a team further down the line when a player hits unrestricted free agency and potentially questions their team’s belief in them.

The NBA is a business and this is a business decision, but the players are still human and for Parker it might not sit well during his next contract negotiation with the team.

There is risk and reward with any player the Bucks choose to give a contract extension to and this case is no different.

As a fan, it’s impossible not to want what’s best for both the franchise and the player in the long term, and I would lean toward signing Parker this year before the Oct. 31 deadline and before Parker ever touches the court.

If the Bucks are fair with the amount they offer Parker, he may be prepared to leave some money on the table in exchange for the security of guaranteed money.

Milwaukee need to present Parker with an offer that proves the organization values him, trusts in his recovery, and believes in him as a cornerstone of the franchise.

Next: Milwaukee Bucks: Best and Worst of the 2016-17 Season

What do you think the Bucks and Parker should do? Let us know in the comments below.