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Giannis Antetokounmpo on Jabari Parker Free Agency: 'He Ain't Going Anywhere'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2018

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 5:  Jabari Parker #12 of the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks box out against Tony Snell #20 of the Chicago Bulls on January 5, 2016 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. 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 2016 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Gary Dineen/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Boston Celtics in seven games in the first round of the 2018 NBA playoffs, but superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo believes he is going to get another opportunity to play with Jabari Parker next season.

"He ain't going anywhere," Antetokounmpo said of Parker's impending restricted free agency, per Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times. "He's going to be here."

Parker took a backseat in the Milwaukee offense during the seven-game loss as Antetokounmpo (25.7 points per game), Khris Middleton (24.7) and Eric Bledsoe (13.6) all carried more of the scoring load than the Duke product. He averaged 10.0 points and 6.1 boards a night as part of the second unit, but the Bucks as a whole struggled when he was on the floor.

According toΒ NBA.com, Milwaukee's net rating was minus-3.1 with Parker playing, and the offensive rating plummeted from 114.9 when he was on the bench to 100.6 when he was in the game.

He didn't provide much outside shooting in the series at 31.6 percent from deep and clogged the floor and driving lanes for some of the other playmakers at times.

Still, he is just 23 years old and showed some of his potential last season when he poured in 20.1 points per game. Health problems have been an issue (51 games last season and 31 in 2017-18) and prevented him from establishing much consistency since he was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 draft.

Parker returning for an entire season like his teammate said and ideally remaining healthy will give the Bucks the opportunity to assess where the tandem of Parker and Antetokounmpo stand together moving forward as they attempt to develop into an Eastern Conference contender.

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