Bucks Lead

Jabari May Not Sign Until August/September

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We’ve reached the end of the moratorium period in free agency, the period which allows players and teams to negotiate deals before actually signing the paperwork.

With that period over, a lot of top free agents remain on the market; specifically, restricted free agents.

Jabari Parker is among that still-available pool of restricted free agents. Some of the other top remaining RFA’s include Clint Capela (HOU), and Marcus Smart (BOS). The list doesn’t end there, and with the market beginning to dry out, there is a legitimate possibility Jabari and a good amount of the remaining restricted free agents won’t have any deals done until August at the earliest.

This wasn’t the original thought, with the restricted free agent market being so rich. The first 24 hours of free agency changed things, however, when a lot of teams burned their cap space on signing other free agents. The Suns ($15MM to Trevor Ariza), Jazz (re-signing Derrick Favors, Dante Exum and Raul Neto for a combined $31.2MM) and Nuggets (re-signing Nikola Jokic and Will Barton) all committed cap space elsewhere, eliminating them from having any interest in Parker or some of the other restricted free agents.

In the opening moments of free agency, the Bucks agreed to bring back veteran PF Ersan Ilyasova on a three-year, $21MM deal. While the deal is somewhat friendly, (third year is non-guaranteed), it put a restriction on Milwaukee’s cap flexibility in the event they would have to match a high offer from three teams that have the cap space to extend Jabari a lucrative offer.

Chicago appeared to be the biggest threat to pry Jabari away from the Bucks, but they have since committed to re-signing their own RFA in LaVine at $20 million per season. Sacramento has plenty of power-forwards, so the need for Parker isn’t there. Atlanta has been as mute as it gets when it comes to free agency.

Last year, restricted free agents Nerlens Noel (Dallas) and JaMychal Green (Memphis) both signed very late in the offseason. Noel waited until August 26th before accepting Dallas’ $4.1MM qualifying offer, and JaMychal Green signed a two-year/$27MM deal on September 27th, a day after training camps began.

With the market for restricted free agents appearing dry, don’t be surprised if Jabari accepts Milwaukee’s qualifying offer ($4.3MM), allowing him to enter unrestricted free agency next summer. Parker and the Bucks could also attempt to negotiate a smaller deal similar to Green’s, but that remains a mystery for now. Nonetheless, it looks as if Jabari’s return to Milwaukee is more probable than we initially thought.

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About Eric Peterson

CEO and Content Manager at TLSM and Bucks Lead branch. Currently studying Sport Management at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Twitter: @EricTLSM

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