Chicago Bulls: Does Jabari Parker make Bulls a playoff team?

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bulls splurged on free agent Jabari Parker, but is it enough to get in the playoffs?

The Chicago Bulls made an interesting move over the weekend and signed free agent Jabari Parker. While everyone expected them to make a move after rescinding David Nwaba‘s offer, going after Parker came as a bit of a surprise.

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Up to this point, the Bulls have been extremely quiet in free agency. This led many to wonder whether they were going to ride out the 2018-19 season and secure another top draft pick to further the rebuild. On the contrary, the Bulls seem to be trying to accelerate the rebuild with this move.

Although the Bulls appear intent on ratcheting things up this season, is it enough? In other words, have the Bulls done enough this offseason, particularly with the addition of Parker, to compete for a playoff spot?


I’ll spare you the suspense — they have not. In fact, there are concerns that this move could adversely impact the rebuild. As I’ve stated before, a team looking to rebuild cannot tiptoe around the tulips.

If a total rebuild is their plan, then they have to totally commit to it. The Bulls aren’t even two years into their rebuild and are already getting cold feet. So why can’t they compete for the playoffs now?

Look, the Bulls were three games off of having the worst record in the Eastern Conference, and 16 away from the final playoff berth. Does Parker get the Bulls an additional 16 wins? It’s highly unlikely. Rather, it’s more probable that the Bulls are maybe eight to ten games better, still miss the playoffs, and fall out of the top ten of the draft.

Fred Hoiberg is going to have his hands full figuring out how to set up his rotations. Although the Bulls plan to use Parker as a small forward, that experiment could be short-lived if he gets exposed on defense as expected.

With Lauri Markkanen a fixture at the power forward position, where does Parker play? Does he play with Markannen and take minutes away from Wendell Carter, Jr.? If so, does that also mean fewer minutes for Robin Lopez and Bobby Portis?

Regardless of all of that, how does this team build chemistry? Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine missed so much time last season, they’re still trying to learn how to play together. Now the Bulls add another variable to the mix. This is all in addition to the fact that Parker makes them a much weaker defensive team. In short, the Bulls still have more questions, than answers, even with Parker.

Next: 3 impacts of the Jabari Parker deal

Bottom Line

For some reason, the Bulls seem terrified of committing to a full rebuild. Therefore, while it may make management feel better to be a little more competitive now, it’s not best in the long run. We’ll have to see how it works out. However, I have a feeling we’ll still be talking about the “rebuild” a few years from now.