Jabari Parker finally back in Bulls’ rotation
Jabari Parker has finally managed to crawl his way out of the doghouse, and he responded on Tuesday night with one of his best games in nearly two months.
Prior to the Bulls’ 107-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago coach Jim Boylen told reporters Parker has done what was asked of him in practice and is back in the team’s rotation. The former No. 2 overall pick responded with 18 points in 17 minutes.
Jabari Parker has been freed! According to Bulls coach Jim Boylen, Parker has finally met the criteria asked of him in practice, so he is back in the rotation.
— Sun-Times Basketball (@suntimes_hoops) January 16, 2019
Parker also played 19 minutes in a loss to the Utah Jazz on Saturday, scoring 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting in that game. He had appeared in just one of Chicago’s last 12 games prior to that, so something obviously changed.
There was speculation last month that Parker’s time with the Bulls may be coming to and end. He was signed to a two-year, $40 million contract during the offseason, but his role was practically nonexistent after Fred Hoiberg was fired. That probably had something to do with the hard-nosed approach Boylen has been taking as coach of the Bulls, and it is one that nearly caused a mutiny among players.
The Bulls have now lost eight straight games, so perhaps Boylen is trying to see if Parker can emerge as a leader during a lost season.