The best way to describe the latest free agency news for Bulls fans is half nervous, half excited.
The Chicago Bulls agreed to a 2-year, $40M deal with Jabari Parker Saturday morning. The Simeon High School stand out is coming back home. The second year of the contract is a team option, which protects the Bulls in case Parker does not come back the same, or (knock on wood) gets injured once more. Essentially, this year is a tryout year for Parker and the Bulls. As K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported, both sides are hopeful of reaching a long term agreement.
Can confirm the 2nd year of Parker's deal is a team option, which @wojespn had 1st. This is essentially a one-year tryout, and there's optimism from both the Bulls and Parker's camp this can be a long-term relationship.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 14, 2018
There’s obviously so many questions that need to be asked about this signing, and what this means for the future of the young Bulls. Could this be the Baby Bulls 2.0? Is this team’s upside enough to win a title? Or are we going down the try hard Bulls road once again?
Personally, I initially was very hesitant about the move when it was first reported that both sides were moving towards a deal a couple of days ago. I see Jabari as more of a 4 instead of a 3, which is where I presume the Bulls will want to deploy Parker. This obviously creates complications when the last two lottery picks chosen also play the 4 or the 5.
After giving it some thought however, this deal makes sense on the talent and upside of Jabari alone. He’s a former #2 overall pick, who has shown flashes whenever he is on the court. I still believe he’s an extremely talented scorer who should continue to develop his shot as well. The second year of the contract being a team option is huge because it allows the Bulls to still be in play for the big free agency class of 2019.
There’s a lot to dissect with this signing and we will find out more and more about the plans the front office has, as well as how all the pieces fit on the court after training camp. If there’s one thing that Bulls fans should be excited about, is the fact that this team is so young and they will have an opportunity to grow with each other. With LeBron leaving the East, the conference is wide open and many teams legitimately feel they can make the Finals. It won’t happen this year, or maybe not even next, but if the roster continues to develop, they can be in the upper echelon of the East sooner than you think.
Last year was hard to watch as a Bulls fan but this year will be different. On paper, the Bulls should be one of the best 8 teams and should make the playoffs this year. Quick Roster Breakdown:
PG: Kris Dunn, Cam Payne
SG: Zach LaVine, David Nwaba(?), Justin Holiday, Antonio Blakeney
SF: Jabari Parker, Chandler Hutchison, Denzel Valentine
PF: Lauri Markkanen, Bobby Portis
C: Wendell Carter, Robin Lopez
If all else fails, this team will be very exciting to watch. Welcome home, Jabari.
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