Bucks Rumors: Khris Middleton to Decline Extension, Jabari Parker Might Take QO

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2018

MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 26: Jabari Parker #12 of the Milwaukee Bucks celebrates with Khris Middleton #22 after slam dunking the basketball during the third quarter against the Charlotte Hornets during the third quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center on March 26, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 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. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks are reportedly facing financial and roster-building question marks with power forward Jabari Parker potentially accepting a qualifying offer and small forward Khris Middleton expected to turn down proposals for a contract extension.

ESPN's Zach Lowe and Kevin Arnovitz discussed the situation on Tuesday's edition of The Lowe Post podcast, noting the Bucks are in a "really difficult spot" because they are "intermittently worried" Parker will take the one-year qualifying deal, while Middleton could decline his $13 player option to become an unrestricted free agent after next season.

Lowe explained the Bucks will need to "finesse" the Parker situation since his qualifying offer could cause a serious drain on the salary cap. While his base salary for next season would only be $4.3 million, his cap hit would be a monstrous $20.3 million, per Spotrac.

In addition, the ESPN analysts agreed Parker, who's suffered two ACL tears since the Bucks selected him second overall in the 2014 draft, won't fit in the system under new head coach Mike Budenholzer.

"Boy, Jabari is not a Bud player at all," Arnovitz said. "Doesn't pass. Doesn't play defense. But has shown, like in the second half of that Celtics series, that when he actually decides to try on defense, he can hold his own."

Meanwhile, Arnovitz reported the Bucks would "love to extend" Middleton, but the Texas A&M product is expected to say, "No, thank you," to any offer.

It creates a series of questions about how Milwaukee—which features a solid young core led by Giannis Antetokounmpo—is going to move forward over the next two summers.

The Parker situation could end up limiting the team's financial flexibility this offseason, and if Middleton hits the open market, he'll leave a major void to fill in 2019.


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