Jabari Parker Reportedly Removed from Bulls Rotation After Signing $40M Contract

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2018

Chicago Bulls forward Jabari Parker drives to the basket against the Golden State Warriors during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press

The Chicago Bulls' 2018-19 season has careened off the rails at a breakneck pace, and that's never more evident than with how quickly Jabari Parker's stock has fallen in the Windy City.

ESPN.com's Malika Andrews reported Thursday that Parker "will no longer see regular minutes" with the Bulls for the foreseeable future.

Parker signed a two-year, $40 million contract with the Bulls in the offseason. The second year is a team option, though, so the two sides can part ways in the summer.

According to Andrews, Parker may not even be in Chicago for that long. Although Parker and the Bulls haven't formally discussed a buyout, it "could become an increasing possibility closer to the trade deadline."

On performance alone, Parker's demotion is warranted. He's averaging 15.8 points but shooting 29.3 percent from three-point range and turning the ball over a career-high 2.7 times per game. He also ranks 422nd in ESPN.com's real plus-minus (minus-2.52).

His offensive struggles compound the fact he has generally never been a plus defender. If Parker can't stretch the floor and help the flow of the offense, then his value falls precipitously. According to NBA.com, the Bulls have been minus-10.6 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor.

To some extent, Chicago has been down this road before. The team signed Dwyane Wade to a two-year, $47 million deal in 2016, bringing the legendary guard back to his hometown. One season later, the Bulls agreed to buy out the bulk of Wade's contract.

As much as it might hurt to cut ties with Parker already, keeping him on the team wouldn't serve anybody's interest if things don't improve. The Bulls could focus more on Lauri Markkanen and Bobby Portis at power forward, while Parker would have an opportunity to rebuild his value somewhat before hitting free agency again.

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