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Jabari Parker, out final 57 games of first season, 'still a rookie' to team

CLEVELAND -- Jabari Parker played 25 games for the Milwaukee Bucks last season, before he suffered the torn ACL in his left knee that short-circuited his first campaign in the NBA.

No matter. Bucks coach Jason Kidd is hitting the reset button on the rookie season for the former No. 2 pick out of Duke.

"Someone asked a good question. I didn't have the answer: 'Is he still a rookie this year because he only played 18 games?'" Kidd said before the Bucks logged a 110-101 preseason win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday. "And so I don't know the answer to that, but in our eyes, he's still a rookie."

Parker has yet to play in the preseason. The Bucks are intentionally pacing the small forward in his recovery from his December knee injury. However, Kidd says Parker's absence from preseason doesn't reflect his activity in training camp.

"He looks great. If you were able to watch practice, I'm sure you guys would probably question why he's not playing," Kidd said. "Because he's done everything. He looks great. But again, he hasn't been cleared by the doctors. But when you watch him out there in his warm-ups, you can see his body has changed and you can see in practice his voice has changed. He's talking a lot more."

Parker is not eligible for the rookie of the year award this season, despite Kidd's classification and his abbreviated rookie season. An NBA player is considered a rookie in only the first season in which he plays, regardless of how much he plays.

Parker finished 15th in voting for the 2014-15 all-rookie team, which honors the top 10 vote-getters with a first- or second-team distinction.

The NBA's standard for rookie eligibility differs from that of Major League Baseball, which allows a player to retain rookie status until he surpasses 130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched or 45 days of service time on a major league roster.