NBA Rumors: Bucks' Jabari Parker Targeting February Return

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistOctober 10, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - FEBRUARY 1:  Jabari Parker #12 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots the ball against the Utah Jazz on February 1, 2017 at vivint.SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images

Looks like the Milwaukee Bucks, one of the NBA's up-and-coming teams because of their youth and burgeoning superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, are taking the long-term approach with Jabari Parker.

Although the former Duke standout's rehab has been progressing and he has been running and shooting, the team is targeting a February return at the earliest, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe.

Last season, Parker showed flashes of brilliance, averaging 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest over a span of 51 games before going down in February with another torn ACL in his left knee, the second time he'd gone down with the same injury in three seasons.

Per Lowe: "Extension talks for Parker will likely go to the Oct. 16 wire, and any deal would nudge the Bucks close to next season's tax. They have discussed dumping John Henson and [Mizra] Teletovic, but teams are squeezing hard, sources say."

The promising development of reigning Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon and Greg Monroe's contribution off the bench will keep the Bucks in the playoff hunt, but until Parker returns, Milwaukee's lineup will be as thin as ice.

     

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Eric Bledsoe #2 of the Phoenix Suns poses for a portrait at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is con
Barry Gossage/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns are a team still in flux.

Naturally, with that kind of roster uncertainty, the Suns don't see any reason to overreach on their financial obligations.

Right now, they are just under the salary floor, with no desire to threaten the luxury tax.

That's why Phoenix is willing to part with one of their best players, Eric Bledsoe.

"The Suns will surely listen if and when suitors call for Eric Bledsoe," Lowe reported. "They've explored the possibility of moving off Jared Dudley and Tyson Chandler, sources say, though they likely feel no urgency to dump them."

Bledsoe averaged a career-high 21.1 points and 6.3 assists per game last season. With two years and $30 million left on his contract, the former Kentucky Wildcat should be considered a bargain to other teams looking for a scoring threat compared to other players in the league with bloated salaries.

Chandler and Dudley, while still valuable because of their defense, could be on the move because they are standing in the way of the development of young players like Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss and Josh Jackson, who could really complement rising star Devin Booker in the future.