Prior to February’s NBA trade deadline, as the struggling Los Angeles Lakers were looking to retool their lineup and add more depth to their bench, the team reportedly came close to trading for then-Chicago Bulls forward Jabari Parker, only for the deal to fall through due to a number of factors.
Citing a subscriber-only report from The Athletic that focused on the Lakers’ inability to make the playoffs this season despite LeBron James’ arrival, Sporting News wrote that the team had a “tentative deal in place” that would have sent Parker to Los Angeles and second-stringers Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Beasley to Chicago. This trade, the report added, did not come to fruition because of the stipulation on Caldwell-Pope’s contract that requires him to approve any trade he is involved in. Furthermore, it was noted that the Lakers soon shifted their focus to New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis after the All-NBA forward/center requested to be traded.
With the deal for Parker not pushing forward, the former No. 2 overall draft pick instead ended up on the Washington Wizards in the trade that sent Otto Porter Jr. to the Bulls, as detailed by USA Today‘s For The Win. Meanwhile, Caldwell-Pope remained on the Lakers, while Beasley was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers along with Ivica Zubac, with the Lakers getting Mike Muscala in return. Beasley was then cut by the Clippers, allowing him to return to the Chinese Basketball Association for the third time and sign with the Guangdong Southern Tigers, per CBS Sports.
Since getting traded to the Wizards, Jabari Parker has put up decent numbers in 25 games, averaging 15 points and 7.2 rebounds and shooting 52.3 percent from the field. This was a sharp contrast to his time on the Bulls, where he found himself removed from the team’s rotation after Jim Boylen replaced Fred Hoiberg as Chicago’s head coach, as noted in March by the official NBA website’s Washington Wizards page. As such, Parker was thankful to get regular playing time once again, as he compared his experience in Washington to his first few years in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks.
“So far, to tell you the truth, [Wizards coach Scott Brooks] has done a good job of implementing me, and I’m proud of that because I do more than just one thing, and it just feels good to get in those positions,” Parker said. “It does, in a way, feel like I was in Milwaukee.”
Despite Parker’s contributions to the team, the Wizards are set to miss the playoffs, as they currently sit at 11th in the Eastern Conference with a 32-49 record. Likewise, the Lakers will also be out of postseason action this year, with their 37-44 record putting them at 10th in the Western Conference.