After starting out the 2018-19 NBA season as a key contributor for the Chicago Bulls, former second overall draft pick Jabari Parker is now barely a part of the team’s rotation, having only played sparingly in a handful of games since head coach Jim Boylen took over from Fred Hoiberg. Many league observers have opined that Parker needs to be traded before the February deadline in order for him to get the playing time he deserves. One such trade, as recommended by Bleacher Report, could theoretically have him joining the Brooklyn Nets, with the Bulls getting a package centered on shooting guard Allen Crabbe in return.
According to a previous report from ESPN, the Bulls (10-33, 14th in Eastern Conference) have entered the new year in “deal-making mode,” and are looking for trade partners for Parker and center Robin Lopez. Earlier this month, Chicago sent wingman Justin Holiday to the Memphis Grizzlies, getting role players Wayne Selden and MarShon Brooks and two future second-round draft picks. With that in mind, Bleacher Report‘s Dan Favale wrote that the Bulls could consider swapping one “bad contract” for another in a deal that would net them some extra picks for the 2019 NBA Draft.
As suggested by Favale, the Bulls could accomplish such a goal by trading Jabari Parker to the Brooklyn Nets for Allen Crabbe, a 2019 first-round draft pick, and a 2020 second-round draft pick, with the latter two previously acquired from the Denver Nuggets. Favale added that the Nets could afford to surrender the 2019 first-rounder, as it could end up as a bottom-five pick if the Nuggets continue their strong performance, but cautioned that Brooklyn might eventually declare that selection “off-limits.”
“Clearing Allen Crabbe’s 2019-20 salary ($18.5 million player option) is, at worst, equally valuable,” Favale added.
“The Nets can treat Parker as an expiring contract (team option) and amble into the offseason with a path to more than $38 million in [salary cap] room while carrying restricted free-agent holds for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and D’Angelo Russell.”
Per NBC Sports, Parker is in the first year of a two-year, $40 million contract, with the second year being a team option.
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) January 11, 2019
Talking about how Parker and Crabbe could benefit the Nets and Bulls respectively in the event the hypothetical trade pushes forward, Favale predicted that Brooklyn could get some mileage out of Parker, as he fills a serious need at the power forward position. As noted by Nothin’ But Nets, the team has relied on veteran journeyman Jared Dudley and youngster Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at power forward for most of the season, despite how both players are natural small forwards.
Crabbe, on the other hand, might not be a long-term solution for the Bulls at the wing positions, but could at least “hit standstill threes off kick-outs.” Furthermore, Favale pointed out that Crabbe becomes a free agent in the summer of 2019, meaning the Bulls won’t be saddled with his contract for long.
While the above scenario is merely hypothetical, it’s long been documented by publications such as the Chicago Tribune that Jabari Parker might need a fresh start on a new team. It’s unclear whether Brooklyn will be among the teams vying for his services ahead of this season’s trade deadline, but as the Chicago Tribune‘s K.C. Johnson posited, the 23-year-old former Duke University product is talented enough to deserve regular minutes on the court, and not just the “mop-up” minutes he currently gets with the Bulls.