Chicago’s taking gambles on Zach LaVine and Jabari Parker.
Jabari Parker has reached an agreement with the Chicago Bulls on a 2-year, $40 million deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The second year of the deal is a team option. The Bucks rescinded Parker’s qualifying offer, which made him an unrestricted free agent. Milwaukee can’t match the offer to keep him, so he’s definitely going to be a Bull. The 2014 No. 2 pick in the draft is coming back home to Chicago, though it’s hard to figure out why exactly.
Parker has struggled in the first few years of his career because he’s torn his ACL twice. The former Duke forward has played 31 games or less in two of his four seasons, never able to get on track due to the injuries.
We know Parker can score. In his healthiest year in 2016-17, he averaged 20 points per game and six rebounds on 49 percent shooting from the field and 37 percent from deep. But he’s struggled to defend, and, of course, stay on the floor. This contract is no question a gamble, though a short one.
Where will Jabari Parker fit into the Bulls lineup?
According to the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson, the Bulls intend to start Parker at small forward alongside Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and either rookie Wendell Carter Jr. or Robin Lopez. That lineup… won’t play a lot of defense.
Parker also succeeded most playing at the 4, the same position as the Bulls’ past two lottery picks. Eating away at their minutes feels like a mistake at this point, unless of course Parker finally finds his way in a healthy season.
The Bulls are taking a real chance here just like they are with Zach LaVine. For some fans that might be exciting, and for others it might be a total nightmare. But the Bulls have made it certain that they aren’t waiting to tank.
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