Jabari Parker Trade Rumors: Teams Want to Move Bad Long-Term Contracts for PF

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2018

Chicago Bulls forward Jabari Parker drives to the basket against the Boston Celtics during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press

As teams have signaled interest in a possible trade for Jabari Parker, the Chicago Bulls are holding firm in their desire not to be saddled with expensive multiyear contracts.

The Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson reported suitors "are asking the Bulls to take on bad, long-term contracts" in return for Parker, a demand Chicago deems as a "non-starter."

Parker hasn't played since the Bulls' 97-91 defeat to the Orlando Magic on Dec. 13. A day later, ESPN.com's Malika Andrews reported the fifth-year forward "won't see regular minutes going forward." Johnson followed up to report Chicago was looking to move Parker in a trade.

Through 29 games for the Bulls, Parker is averaging 15.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He's also shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 29.3 percent from beyond the arc.

The nature of Parker's deal makes it easy for the Bulls to cut bait at the end of the season. Conversely, his contract might also make it hard for Chicago to find a worthwhile trade.

Parker is owed $20 million for next season, but it's a club option. The Bulls can simply decline that option and let him become a free agent.

Since Parker's days in the Windy City appear to be numbered, opposing general managers may not want to give up much of value to land him. They can wait and see if the Bulls buy Parker out of his contract, or they can even hold off until the summer, when Parker's value on the open market will have fallen significantly.

If push comes to shove and they're unable to find a good trade package, the Bulls are better off buying out Parker rather than absorbing a bad contract that will limit their financial flexibility in the future.

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