The Chicago Bulls haven’t hidden the fact that they’re looking to move forward Jabari Parker. This comes less than half a season after the team signed him in free agency, and it’s apparent the two sides simply aren’t going to work things out. So, this has led to Parker’s trade interest being gauged around the league as of late.
Unfortunately, Parker was previously benched by Bulls head coach Jim Boylen, who took over for recently-fired Fred Hoiberg. So while the forward wasn’t receiving much playing time, it was hard for his trade interest around the league to ramp up. In turn, this led to Boylen giving Parker minutes as of late, and there’s at least some level of interest.
As Sean Deveney of Sporting News revealed, the New York Knicks and New Orleans Pelicans are among the teams who have interest in acquiring Parker.
“The Knicks and Pelicans have interest in Parker, according to league sources, but Chicago would not be willing to take back Courtney Lee from New York or Solomon Hill from New Orleans, making a three-team deal the only way Parker could wind up in either spot.”
As Deveney points out, the Bulls are not interested in players who have contracts that stretch beyond this season.
Jabari Parker’s Tenure With Bulls
It’s been a strange season for Parker with the Bulls after he signed a two-year, $40 million deal with the team in free agency. But after Boylen had taken over for Hoiberg, ESPN’s Malika Andrews revealed Parker would no longer “see regular minutes” in comments made back in mid-December.
The belief was that this decision had been made due to Parker’s below-average defense (to put it lightly). With that said, the Bulls knew what type of player they signed when he put pen to paper this offseason. While the 23-year-old’s defense has struggled, he’s had little trouble putting the ball in the hoop at a consistent rate this year.
Over the span of 33 games with the Bulls, Parker has averaged 14.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting 46.2 percent from the field. His scoring and rebounding numbers are among the highest of his career with the exception of the 2016-17 season with the Milwaukee Bucks in which he averaged 20.1 points per.
Parker’s Future Outlook
While Chicago attempts to find a deal for Parker, there’s no question that he has the upside and ability to thrive with the right team. Both the Knicks and Pelicans could use a player his scoring potential, whether it’s off the bench or as a starter. For New York specifically, he could provide a much-needed scoring punch behind rookie Kevin Knox and also Noah Vonleh.
The Pelicans side of these talks would be big in potentially helping the team provide even more help for star big man Anthony Davis. While it remains unknown whether Davis will stick with the team for the long haul, what we do know is that the front office wants to prove to him they’re in win-now mode. Adding Parker could make for an interesting fit, but would certainly bolster their roster and depth immediately.