Parker raved about how he can not wait to put on the red, black and white, Bulls uniform, and how much of a dream come true it is for him to play for his hometown team. Parker stated: “Looking forward to building new memories, especially with the young players we have. I just want to take it game by game with the young core we have.”
Both Gar and Pax shared their excitement of signing Jabari, and how he fits the team. What coach Fred Hoiberg said might raise a few eyebrows, claiming “we should be able to take a step forward on defense”, and sighting Jabari’s ability to guard multiple postions.
While Paxson has acknowledged that neither Parker or Zach Lavine have been plus defenders. Their athletic ability along with their age(both 23 years old) give optimism, that they can improve on the defensive end.
While many are speculating in order for the Bulls to win games, they will have to win shootouts because of the defensive liabilities of their wings.
I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. Kris Dunn is an absolute pit bull on defense, and Lauri Markkanen showed during his rookie season he is a capable team defender, and has some competence, when being switch on to a smaller, quicker player, remember the Steph Curry block?
It’s also impossible to forget the addition of Wendell Carter Jr., who is fresh off being named to the All-NBA Summer League First Team, averaging 14.6 points. 9.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. Carter Jr. has shown his defensive capabilities and should prove to be a legitimate rim protector.
As a whole the Bulls should be able to cover up Parker and Lavine’s weakness on defense, and shouldn’t be that bad on that end of the ball, as some are worrying about. We’ll also see how the new defensive system that Hoiberg has said the Bulls are experimenting with this summer, that Parker and Lavine will fit in, will work out. Either way it shakes out this should be a fun season, with an exciting, young, athletic team to get behind.
Despite rumors don’t expect Jahil Okafor to be apart of this team. The Bulls have plenty of big men as it stands. The only way this would even make sense, is if Robin Lopez is traded and Cristiano Felicio is banished to the G League.
With the draft, free agency, and Summer League now behind us, get ready to gear up Bulls Nation, as the next measuring stick for the Baby Bulls, the preseason, isn’t too far away.