Jabari Parker is heading into restricted free agency this coming offseason and quite a few teams are expected to have interest in signing him to an offer sheet. While there are other teams that will have interest in signing him, the Milwaukee Bucks would like to retain him if the price is right.
According to a report shared by Bleacher Report, the Indiana Pacers are one of the teams interested in signing Parker this offseason. Indiana is one of the teams with a large amount of cap space to spend. Parker may not be exactly what the team needs, but he would be an intriguing fit.
Last season with the Bucks, Parker ended up playing in 31 regular season games after missing most of the season due to a torn ACL that he suffered in 2017. He averaged 12.6 points per game to go along with 4.9 rebounds. Parker shot 48.2 percent from the floor and knocked down 38.3 percent from beyond the arc.
At 23-years-old, Parker would be a nice fit for the Pacers moving forward. Indiana took the league by surprise last year after trading Paul George in the offseason. Victor Oladipo became an All-Star in his first season with the Pacers and led the team to 48 wins in the regular season and pushed LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) June 29, 2018
Indiana has already brought back Bojan Bogdanovic, Thaddeus Young, and Darren Collison. Cory Joseph also opted in to his contract earlier in the offseason. Joe Young and Lance Stephenson have both had their team options declined this offseason to increase cap room.
Looking ahead, the Pacers would have to release Al Jefferson and renounce the rights to the other free agents they don’t plan to keep to create around $22 million in cap space. That money would allow them to pursue free agents like Parker, Aaron Gordon, Tyreke Evans, and Will Barton.
Parker would certainly be an intriguing fit with the Pacers. Standing in at 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds, Parker could play small forward or power forward. Indiana would likely have him play backup minutes at both positions, although he could push Bogdanovic for the starting small forward job.
Injuries have derailed Parker’s career after he was drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Perhaps a change of scenery could help Parker take his game to the next level. Indiana has had success with developing talented players who haven’t flourished into their full potential.
Expect to see the Pacers be extremely aggressive this offseason. Kevin Pritchard is trying to build a championship contender and they have the cap room to make some big moves should they choose to do so.