Chicago Bulls: Bold predictions for Jabari Parker in 2018-2019

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Lauri Markkanen Chicago Bulls
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Bold prediction no. 3: Parker will thrive at SF alongside Lauri Markkanen

Parker will be making an interesting switch to small forward next season as rising star Lauri Markkanen will be at Parker’s natural position of power forward. Many analysts criticized the decision, saying it would make the team’s defense even weaker. However, I feel like this is yet another good way Parker can thrive on his new team.

One of Parker’s biggest strengths is his size and athleticism. Parker also has a long way to go in his development and possesses a ton of potential. He hasn’t been able to fully showcase his talents because of tough luck in the injury department. Parker has a chance to finally get a full season of high-level play under his belt. I think he fits better on this team than some think.

Parker faced criticism last season during the Bucks’ playoff series against the Boston Celtics. The forward publicly complained about not getting enough playing time in the series. He even said you had to “Be on the coach’s good side” to get on the court. This was not a good look for Parker, and now some fans fear he will echo the same thoughts with the Bulls.

The Bulls have a young core with players like LaVine and Markkanen on the verge of rising to another level with their play. Some fans fear that Parker won’t be happy in a crowded rotation of forwards and centers that includes these talented players plus rookies like Chandler Hutchison and Carter.

As I pointed out before, Parker wants to be here at home. There would be little point to him publicly badmouthing the Bulls staff or young players if he does see limited minutes. There’s the contract, but most of all I truly believe Parker’s frustration last year could’ve been rooted in the realization that he wouldn’t be coming back to the Bucks. I don’t see that happening again.

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Parker has a chance to help out the young core while showing off his skills at the same time. If he can mesh with Markkanen and LaVine, they could become a scoring force in a weakened Eastern Conference. They may all be a liability on defense, but I think that criticism is overblown. The Bulls are looking to compete, maybe even sneak into the playoffs. Parker will be a big part of that effort.