Restricted free agent Jabari Parker, the No. 2 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, is reportedly interested in joining the Chicago Bulls.
Parker, 23, has played his entire career thus far with the Milwaukee Bucks but could switch teams this offseason. If Parker signs an offer sheet with another team, the Bucks would have up to 48 hours to match the deal. In terms of potential suitors for Parker, the Bulls seem like a legitimately good fit.
Their roster could use help at small forward too, considering the lineup most often used by Chicago featured Denzel Valentine at small forward. Valentine has averaged 8.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per game during his career and is a bit undersized since he’s playing out of position; he’s a more natural shooting guard.
Despite suffering multiple ACL injuries, Parker has shown several glimpses of the very good player he could become. The 2012 Gatorade National Player of the Year is actually from Chicago, as HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy noted when free agency began.
Parker has averaged 17.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals per 36 minutes during his career. Here is what Gery Woelfel said about the situation earlier this summer (via Woelfel Press Box):
“If either Chicago or Sacramento offers a large contract to Parker, it may be difficult for the Bucks to match. The Bucks, according to several sources, have been feverish trying to trade one of their higher-paid players – most notable John Henson or Matthew Dellavedova – but haven’t any success.”
Aside from the Bulls, the Kings are one of the few teams with available spending money for free agency this offseason. It seems that the Bulls are preparing to make a splash in the next few days, as reported by KC Johnson. Don’t be surprised if they try to bring Parker home.