Although Chicago Bulls forward Jabari Parker got off to a good start to the 2018-19 season, putting up good numbers as he started in place of the injured Lauri Markkanen and Bobby Portis, the former second overall draft pick might be on the way out of his hometown team, according to a new report.
In a report published Friday, the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson wrote that there has been "considerable" interest in the 23-year-old Parker, who was recently removed from new Bulls coach Jim Boylen's rotation despite his strong offensive performance thus far. While he did not name any teams in specific, Johnson stressed there are "several" teams with whom the Bulls have been in contact regarding a possible trade.
As recalled by Johnson, Jabari Parker was brought in this season by the Chicago Bulls after four mostly injury-riddled seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks in the hope that he could step up as the team's starting small forward. He was then moved to the power forward spot due to his defensive deficiencies against opposing small forwards and had earned minutes as a starter due to Markkanen and Portis's injuries.
As of this writing, Parker is averaging 15.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game, but had gone scoreless in only four minutes of action in the Bulls' last game, a 97-91 loss to the Orlando Magic in Mexico City on Thursday. As quoted by the Chicago Tribune, Parker was surprised by his sudden removal from the Bulls' frontcourt rotation, as he felt he had "[done] everything" he could while getting substantial minutes under former head coach Fred Hoiberg.
"It is what it is. You can't pout. You've just got to keep moving," Parker continued.
"I'm a basketball player. Everybody knows. I especially know for myself. I just have to stay ready."When asked about the possibility of asking to be traded or bought out of his two-year, $40 million contract, Parker told reporters that it's too early for him to make any decisions on the matter, the Chicago Tribune added.
Commenting on the rumors that Jabari Parker might be traded by the Chicago Bulls, Bleacher Report wrote that the team's 2018-19 season, so far, has been a "disaster," as Chicago currently has a 6-23 win-loss record, including one win and four losses with Boylen in control. According to the publication, the Bulls' struggles cannot be blamed on Parker, but since it wouldn't make sense for the team to pay him $20 million a year as a benchwarmer, it might indeed be better to send him elsewhere, preferably to a playoff-bound team that needs off-the-bench scoring and wouldn't mind dealing with his subpar defense.