Woelfel: Sonny Parker reiterates son Jabari willing to play in Milwaukee
Nothing’s been finalized, but it still seems like a matter of when (and where) rather than if the Bucks get some up-close time with Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Dante Exum in the next two weeks. In the mean time, Gery Woelfel reports that the Bucks would be a particularly convenient match for Parker, whose father Sonny insists that his Chicago-born son would have no problem playing in Milwaukee–or anywhere else.
“We don’t have a preference where he plays,’’ said [Sonny] Parker, who was chosen by Golden State as the 17th overall selection in the 1976 NBA draft and played six seasons for the Warriors. “But I live in Chicago and Milwaukee is not that far away, so that would be good.
“Jabari just wants to play and do whatever it takes to help his team win. So, no, he wouldn’t mind playing in Milwaukee and that’s the truth.’’
It’s previously been reported that the elder Parker’s kidney condition made it difficult for him to see his son play while at Duke, making proximity an obvious selling point for the Bucks.
JS | Kellner remains confident a new arena will be built
No major revelations in Don Walker’s latest piece at the JS, but no shortage of good vibes either. Here’s Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce chairman–and potential Bucks minority investor–Ted Kellner on the topic we’ll be watching like hawks over the coming months:
“A lot of things are happening,’ Kellner said. “I think this will get done with a significant, significant private component.”
DraftExpress | Jabari Parker vs. NBA length
Earlier this week we showed you how Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker fared against NBA-caliber defenders last season. Today: another DraftExpress video breaking down how Parker matched up against the NBA-caliber length of Syracuse and Virginia. As always be wary of small sample sizes–and remember that players should have a harder time against tougher competition–but it does provide some more context for the question of how Parker will be able to adapt to the speed and size of the NBA.
My main takeaway: catching at the elbow looks more and more like it might be the sweet spot for Parker in the NBA, a spot that would align neatly with where the Bucks typically put their power forward and center in their basic HORNS actions. Speaking of which, Mitch Vomhof has a good read comparing Parker’s measurements to those of NBA power forwards, suggesting that while Parker might not have ideal length, he’s certainly no midget either.
Personally I’m still of two minds on the “where will Jabari play?” question: while I think he may be best served physically by shedding a few pounds off his 235-240 pound frame (and thus looking more like a small forward), his more obvious fit on a team like the Bucks would seem be as an outside-in 4. Ultimately it will probably come down mostly to where he fits in defensively, because offensively he seems capable of doing damage from either position–either by bullying wings or using his quickness and perimeter skillset against larger players. And no, none of this would speak well of Ersan Ilyasova’s long-term future in Milwaukee, though that’s likely a question mark regardless of what happens on June 26.
By the way, if you want to learn a bit more about the basics of HORNS, check out this tutorial from BBall Breakdown or a compilation of HORNS sets from the Bucks/Cavs preseason game last year. Tons of NBA teams run variants of HORNS in their basic sets, enabling lots of follow-on actions like P&R, flex cuts, etc.
Basketball Insiders | Kyler: Bucks looking to move Knight to the 2?
The Bucks adamantly insisted Brandon Knight was a point guard last summer, and gave him every chance to prove himself as the Bucks’ primary ballhandler last year–even if he was often sharing the court with fellow point guards Nate Wolters, Luke Ridnour and Ramon Sessions. So it’s interesting that both Chad Ford and now Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler have suggested over the past month that the Bucks would like to move Knight to the 2 next year. Here’s Kyler in response to a question about where Giannis Antetokounmpo will play next season:
How tall you are does not define your position, it’s who you can guard. I think with Giannis that is still very open ended. Wiggins can play the two in the NBA and that works for the Bucks, although they’d like to slide Brandon Knight to the two next year – hence the Dante Exum rumors. I think with Parker you might be able to do the Carmelo Anthony think and play him as more of a three-four.
I do not think Giannis is going to dictate what the do in the draft.
Offensively I don’t mind the idea of pairing Knight with another ballhandler, even if I don’t see Knight being particularly effective without the ball. Note that he posted 19.3 pts/36 and 53.4% true shooting with Wolters last year (vs. 19.4 pts/36 and 52.3% overall), while the Bucks as a team posted respectable splits of 103.6 pts/100 scored and 105.2 allowed with the duo on the court. Pretty damn good when you consider that the team averaged 100.2 and 108.9 overall for the season.
My biggest concern is that it seems like an imperfect compromise defensively. While most everyone agrees that Knight has excellent size for a point guard, his size advantage disappears when matched against bigger shooting guards. Consider that Knight had a 6’6.75″ wingspan and 8’2.5″ standing reach at the draft combine in 2011, while the average shooting guard who’s been drafted since 2009 posted 6’8.1″ and 8’4.3″ in those same categories according to DraftExpress. Not a massive difference, but we already have seen Knight struggle to handle big wings like Gordon Hayward last year. So if he’s not the long-term solution at point guard, I’m not sure shooting guard will be much of a salvation, especially in the traditional sense of playing more off the ball and only defending bigger guards. Maybe it’s pointless to think about Knight as a “true” anything?
VIDEO | Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker interviews
We’ve spent months dissecting what Parker and Wiggins can do on a basketball court, obscuring the fact that they’re reportedly great kids off it as well. A Mormon choirboy vs. a polite Canadian…something tells me they won’t cause any PR headaches.