Jabari Parker coming home to play for the Chicago Bulls would be a dream come true for his family. There is growing speculation that the Bulls want to add Jabari Parker to their mix of young players. The Chicago Bulls could return to the NBA playoffs with the addition of Parker.
Sporting News is reporting that the Chicago Bulls have had discussions with Jabari Parker and his representatives regarding a deal. The Bulls will allow free agency to play itself out. Once it does, the Bulls will strike.
NBA free agency started off with a bang in the first few hours with the Bulls remaining quiet. The only surprises thus far in NBA free agency is the fact that most of the top-tier free agents re-signed with their respective teams. LeBron James was the only exception. James agreed to join the Los Angeles Lakers on a four-year deal, according to Yahoo Sports. LeBron James leaving the Eastern Conference affects the pecking order, benefiting a team such as the Bulls.
This summer is different than most as the majority of the teams are over the salary cap. The bigger names are falling off the board quickly, with everyone else bidding for what is left. This will be the case for Jabari Parker.
As a restricted free agent, Jabari Parker is somewhat at the mercy of his incumbent team, the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks can match any offer Parker receives on the open market. There is a belief that the Bucks will allow Parker to walk, or work on a sign-and-trade if the terms of his contract are too much to take on. The Bucks have already prepared for life without Jabari Parker, with their signing of Ersan Ilyasova. This will also help the Bulls.
According to ESPN, Ersan Ilyasova accepted a three-year deal, worth $21 million. Ilyasova’s presence turns to keep Jabari Parker into a luxury. The cash-strapped Bucks cannot afford to flirt with the luxury tax as a team who at best will reach the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Bulls, on the other hand, have the flexibility to sign Parker and stay clear of salary constraints.
Jabari Parker is a restricted free agent at the right time. There are several good restricted free agents, yet not enough teams to go after them. The Bulls have one of theirs in Zach LaVine, who will command a big contract. The idea of the Bulls signing Parker and retaining LaVine is tantalizing.
The Eastern Conference is weaker today than it was yesterday. The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia Sixers are the clear front-runners in the conference, with the Toronto Raptors not far behind. The Chicago Bulls can sneak into that group with a young team.
If the Chicago Bulls were to add Jabari Parker and keep Zach LaVine, their starting lineup would be rounded out by Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen, and Robin Lopez. The Bulls’ reserves would be Bobby Portis, Wendell Carter, Chandler Hutchison, and Denzel Valentine. That proposed Bulls’ team would be a solid young group going forward which would become difficult to beat for years to come.
Nothing is set in stone for the Chicago Bulls and Jabari Parker just yet. The Bulls are being patient as the rest of NBA free agency is being sorted out. A week from now the Bulls could be sitting with Jabari Parker in th fold.