Bulls Rumors: Jabari Parker Draws Interest from Chicago; Bucks Can Match Offers

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2018

Milwaukee Bucks' Jabari Parker dribbles during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Milwaukee. The Bucks won 118.110. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

The Chicago Bulls reportedly have interest in Milwaukee Bucks restricted free-agent forward Jabari Parker, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype.

Since Parker is restricted, the Bucks can match any offer sheet if Parker signs one with the Bulls or another team.

The 23-year-old Parker is a Chicago native who has spent his entire four-year NBA career with the Bucks since getting selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 draft out of Duke.

Parker has struggled to reach his full potential due largely to injuries that have limited him to 183 career regular-season games. In four seasons, Parker has missed a total of 145 contests.

Last season, he was limited to just 31 appearances and three starts after suffering a torn ACL for the second time in his career in February 2017.

In somewhat limited action, Parker averaged 12.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from three-point range.

Parker then put up 10.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists per contest in seven playoff games.

He expressed frustration over his playing time during Milwaukee's first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics as well.

Parker isn't far removed from his best NBA season, as he averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 51 games during the 2016-17 campaign.

That type of potential makes him an intriguing option for teams looking to make an impact on the restricted free-agent market.

The Bulls went just 27-55 last season, but they have several promising young players, including guard Kris Dunn, power forward Lauri Markkanen and center Wendell Carter Jr., who they selected with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft.

Things haven't worked out ideally for Parker in Milwaukee to this point, but the Bucks can ill afford to give up on a player with his talent level.

Milwaukee needs stars to put around Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Parker has the potential to reach that status if he can remain healthy.

If Parker does sign elsewhere and the Bucks decline to match, their frontcourt will be largely devoid of offense with Thon Maker and John Henson leading the way, while the bulk of the scoring burden will fall on the shoulders of Antetokounmpo and guard Eric Bledsoe.