The Milwaukee Bucks and Jabari Parker reached an agreement for the team to rescind its qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent, and reports on Saturday indicated the fifth-year forward was signing a contract with the Chicago Bulls.
On Friday night, ESPN reported that Parker and the Bulls were discussing a deal and Parker was not expecting Milwaukee to match Chicago’s offer sheet. The Bucks would have had 48 hours to decide whether or not to let Parker walk, but in less than a day they’d elected not to keep the locally beloved, injury-prone player.
"Jabari and I felt it was in the best interest of both he and the team to rescind our qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent," said Bucks general manager Jon Horst. "We appreciate everything Jabari has brought to our team and our community over the last four years and we wish him well."
The second overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Parker appeared in 183 career games for the Bucks over four years, missing large parts of two seasons with torn ACLs. He averaged 15.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, while shooting 49 percent from the field and 74.7 percent from the free throw line.
"Jabari and I express our sincere gratitude to Jon Horst and Bucks owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan for working side-by-side with us throughout the free agency period," said Mark Bartelstein, Parker’s agent and the CEO of Priority Sports & Entertainment. "From the moment the Bucks drafted Jabari with the No. 2 pick in the 2014 Draft, they have gone out of their way to treat Jabari as a member of the Bucks family, and this is another perfect example of doing exactly that, and we’re very appreciative."
Parker, who is from Chicago and won four straight state championships at Simeon High School, always maintained a strong connection to his hometown. He was extremely active in the Milwaukee community, but his knee injuries gave the Bucks cause for concern.
"I am extremely grateful to the Bucks and the incredible fans of Milwaukee for showing me so much love and encouragement," Parker said. "Specifically, I’d like to thank Jon, Marc, Wes and Jamie for giving me my start in the NBA and supporting me throughout my career.
"Thank you to my teammates for being like brothers to me. Also, the medical and performance staff led by Troy Flanagan and Suki Hobson deserve my unending thanks for their dedication in helping me get stronger and healthier every day."
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.