Chicago Bulls: What can we expect from Jabari Parker this year?

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bulls took a chance on the hometown kid, Jabari Parker. But coming off of two ACL surgeries, there are questions surrounding just how much he can contribute to the team.

The Chicago Bulls are winding down a fairly busy offseason that featured the signing, resigning and drafting of young talent. While not all moves were popular with the fans, there’s no denying that the team’s roster has improved from a year ago, thus making the offseason somewhat of a success.

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One of the more surprising transactions was the signing of Chicago-native Jabari Parker. At just 23-years-old, Parker is still a very young player with a ton of untapped potential. As a one-dimensional player who tends to focus solely on his offensive game, he has the chance to be a top scorer in the league if he can remain healthy and shed the tag of an injury prone player.

So far in his injury plagued career, Parker averages a respectable 15.3 points per game and is shooting an even 49 percent from the field. Through 51 games in the 2017-2018 season, he was averaging a career-high 20.1 points and 6.2 rebounds, before going down for the remainder of the season with his second ACL injury in three years.

He would return for 31 games the following year and, while averaging just 12.6 points, showed some flashes of his former self, as well as the type of player he can be moving forward.

Parker is a streaky shooter who can explode offensively on any given night. However, he has a clear disinterest in playing defense and has drawn comparisons to Carmelo Anthony in the past because of it.

It is also why he will never quite be viewed as a franchise player for the Bulls to build around, nor should anyone expect him to be. What he will be is a dynamic scorer for a young team that will allow him to continue to develop his offensive game as the team itself continues to search for their identity as a whole.

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With the way the Bulls are now built, they will often look to get out on the break and run. Their offense projects to be fast-paced, and Parker should fit nicely into that.

He will likely start at Small Forward for the team, and that transition should compliment his game nicely. While it may decrease his time in the post, it’ll be fun to watch him on a few clear out plays whenever the Bulls allow for isolation with he and Zach Lavine.

It’s seems like the growing trend now a day is to dismiss players who aren’t great defenders. The modern NBA has changed quite a bit, and with the way the league is constructed now, there aren’t many lockdown defenders left, let alone two-way guys who defend and score at a high rate.

While defense is nice and definitely has an impact on the outcome of a game, instant offense is a luxury to have as well. So when a team has a guy who can light it up and give his team 20 points a night, that’s value added, and something that shouldn’t be overlooked or dismissed out of hand.

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Parker will be a welcomed addition to this year’s Bulls squad. When the season begins and he finally gets back on the court, I expect him to be exactly who he has shown to be in his career thus far. And that’s a guy who does what he was born to do–score, score and score some more.