Bucks forward Jabari Parker will make his season debut Friday night against the New York Knicks, the team announced Monday. Parker has not played since tearing the ACL in his left knee for the second time on Feb. 8, 2017.
“I’m really excited,” Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo said after scoring 31 points and grabbing 18 rebounds in Monday’s 107-95 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. “I know the fans are really excited about that, too. He’s been through this twice in his career, just seeing him every day for the past year now working hard and being focused towards his return, I think it’s big for him and we all got to embrace the moment. I know he’s really excited. I think when he comes back he’s going to take this team to the next level. He’s going to help us defensively and offensively.”
The Bucks are hopeful that Parker will be able to provide some offensive punch alongside Antetokounmpo and continue their winning ways under interim head coach Joe Prunty. Monday’s win marked four straight victories since Prunty took over for fired head coach Jason Kidd last week.
Prunty would not reveal exactly what the plan would be as far as a minutes restriction, but he acknowledged there would be one as Parker makes his way back.
Parker averaged 20.1 points per game last season before his injury, second on the team behind only Antetokounmpo.
Source: Nick Friedell of ESPN
Sources: Jimmy Butler Trade Talks ‘mostly dormant’
For now, Minnesota’s talks with teams around the NBA are mostly dormant, league sources told The Athletic. The Miami Heat have long been the most aggressive team pursuing Butler, having advantages with a young, promising wing in Josh Richardson, being a team not in Minnesota’s conference and holding other assets to add in a package. Yet days before their own season opener Wednesday, Miami president Pat Riley informed his locker room that the team would stick with the current roster to start the season in a show of loyalty the organization has for their current players, league sources said.
Source: Shams Charania of The Athletic
Sources: HEAT, Pat Riley ‘pulling the plug’ on Jimmy Butler Trade
In another rare confirmation of Miami Heat trade negotiations, a team spokesman confirmed shortly before Thursday night’s game that Heat President Pat Riley recently told the team’s players he was “pulling the plug” on trade negotiations regarding disgruntled Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler.
Amid growing speculation of specific Heat players being offered for Butler, Riley, during a recent practice session, lined up the team’s players on the practice court at AmericanAirlines Arena and told them he was standing by them.
Riley, however, did not state that a trade was categorically off the table.
Report: G League to Offer $125K Salaries to Elite Prospects
The NBA G League today announced a Select Contract as part of a comprehensive professional path that will be available, beginning with the 2019-20 season, to elite prospects who are eligible to play in the NBA G League but not yet eligible for the NBA. The contracts, which will include robust programmatic opportunities for development, are for elite players who are at least 18 years old and will pay $125,000 for the five-month season.
“Select Contracts are an answer to the basketball community’s call for additional development options for elite players before they are eligible for the NBA,” said NBA G League President Malcolm Turner. “The supporting infrastructure surrounding these newly-created Select Contracts is designed to provide a rich offering of basketball and life skills developmental tools for top young players to grow along their professional paths from high school to the pros.”