Milwaukee Bucks: Jabari Parker reportedly working on deal with Chicago Bulls

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 17: (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 17: (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Milwaukee Bucks’ restricted free agent Jabari Parker is reportedly progressing toward a deal with his hometown Chicago Bulls.

The one big decision remaining for the Milwaukee Bucks this offseason may not drag out quite as long as many expected.

With the free agency market slowing and cap space drying up around the NBA, many had speculated that it could be another month or so before Bucks’ restricted free agent Jabari Parker’s future would be resolved, but reports on Friday suggest things could now come to a head much sooner.

According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Jabari Parker is progressing toward a deal with the Chicago Bulls.

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Parker is a Chicago native, so there’d be an obvious appeal for him in returning to the Windy City. Beyond that, though, the Bulls stand as one of the few teams with significant cap space too, making them Parker’s best and perhaps last chance of a meaningful pay day this summer.

If Parker signs an offer sheet with the Bulls, his status as a restricted free agent will give the Bucks the chance to match the deal and retain his services.

With deals for Ersan Ilyasova and Brook Lopez already in place, the Bucks already have to deal with a hard cap, though, and a deal for Parker would see them entrenched in the luxury tax while also losing any chance of meaningful flexibility in the coming years.

In fact, with that hard cap in place, the Bulls even have an opportunity to come to terms with Parker on a deal that would effectively put him out of Milwaukee’s reach.

Having recently withdrawn the qualifying offer they had extended to guard David Nwaba, Chicago has opened up the kind of space required to deliver such an offer, and they still have feasible routes that would allow them to stretch beyond that too.

There’s also a possibility that the two teams could explore a sign-and-trade, although that would have to be negotiated before an offer sheet is signed.

Parker’s free agency case is obviously dominated by discussions of his health, which is something the Bulls have already dealt with this summer as they matched the Kings’ offer to bring back Zach LaVine, who also returned from a torn ACL last season.

Beyond that, there are other questions surrounding Parker as a long-term option in Milwaukee, though, and debate over his fit would certainly apply equally in Chicago.

A young Bulls team eager to accrue talent and expedite a rebuild may overlook those concerns, but Parker’s position in a team with young prospects such as Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr., and his defensive issues paired with LaVine make for a far from seamless fit.

It remains to be seen whether both parties can come to terms on a deal, how much that deal would come in at, and whether the Bucks would have any interest in stretching that far to retain their former second overall pick. But the answers to all of those questions will likely arrive sooner rather than later.

UPDATE: Wojnarowski notes Parker “isn’t expected to have an offer sheet matched by the Milwaukee Bucks”, and suggests the Bucks have “discussed allowing Parker to become an unrestricted free agent by pulling his qualifying offer”. If that’s to become a reality, the Bucks would have to do that by 11.59 pm CT on Friday.

Meanwhile, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports Parker’s deal with the Bulls is “expected to be a two-year deal”.

Next: Milwaukee Bucks: What impact does Jabari Parker’s future have on the Bucks' present and future?

Stick with us at Behind the Buck Pass for further updates on Parker’s situation and the Bucks’ decision on his future.