The Chicago Bulls appear to already be planning on a future without Jabari Parker. Thursday evening, ESPN’s Malika Andrews broke the news that the Bulls had dropped Parker from their starting rotation. And, that they won’t be giving him meaningful minutes going forward.
Jabari Parker will no longer be a part of the Bulls' regular rotation, league sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/RnPzzGznrh
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) December 14, 2018
Remember that the Bulls put pen to paper on a two-year, $40-million contract this past summer. However, that second year at $20 million is a club option. In other words, there’s no way Parker plays for the Bulls past this season.
And while he did tell the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson that there was “no reason” given for his demotion, Parker believes it won’t be a long-term move.
Jabari Parker said he's not looking at his reduced rotation role as permanent. Said he was told at shootaround and given "no reason, just (Boylen's) wishes." A team source said Boylen told Parker his defensive effort must improve.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) December 14, 2018
“Everybody is telling me the truth – to stay ready,” Parker adds. “They’re not telling me things I want to hear. They’re not pointing fingers. And personally, I know I’ve done my job to embrace Jim as the head coach. I’ve been nothing but welcoming of him. I’ll continue that.”
In his first season with the Bulls, the former 2nd overall pick (2014) is averaging 15.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He’s shooting 45.5 percent from the field and only 29.9 percent from long range. That’s all good for an effective field goal rating of 49 percent, a career-low. But offensive production doesn’t appear to be Parker’s biggest issue. Simply put, he doesn’t play defense.
On the court, his Bulls are an East-worst 6-23. No other team in their conference has as many losses, and only the Suns (5-24) have a worse record league-wide. In the meantime the Bulls have lost three in a row, and visit the Spurs (15-14) tomorrow night.