Another year, another attempt at a hometown hero story for the Bulls.
After reports Friday that the Bulls were in the advanced stages of negotiations with Milwaukee Bucks restricted free agent Jabari Parker, the situation found it’s resolution Saturday morning. Multiple reports have indicated that Jabari Parker has indeed agreed to a two year, $40 million dollar contract with the Chicago Bulls. The second year of the deal is reportedly a team option. Milwaukee had the opportunity to match the offer, but opted instead to let the 23 year old forward join the Bulls.
For Parker, he becomes the latest high-profile Chicago basketball product to join the Bulls. Now two seasons removed from Derrick Rose, and only only one season removed from Dwyane Wade, Jabari brings another high profile Chicagoan to the roster. Although much like Derrick Rose, Jabari’s career has not been all highlights.
The Duke product has suffered two torn ACL’s since being drafted second overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, behind only University of Kansas product Andrew Wiggins. Parker suffered his first torn ACL in his rookie season, limiting him to just 25 games in his initial campaign. Parker put together a healthy sophomore campaign, averaging 14.1 points a game along with 5.2 rebounds. His third year in the league saw Parker’s production jump to over 20 points a game, with increases in every major statistical category including, assists, rebounds and shooting percentage.
Parker’s breakout campaign was ended prematurely by a second torn ACL, which he returned from in time to play in 31 games for Milwaukee in the 2017-2018 season, but started in only three of those games. When healthy, Parker has displayed much of the promise that made him the second overall in the draft just four years ago. In Milwaukee’s seven game playoff series with the Celtics last season a healthy Jabari averaged 10 points a game on an even 50% shooting. His performances were a major factor in Milwaukee’s ability to extend the series to seven games.
Prior to being drafted, Jabari was a can’t-miss prospect who often drew comparisons to Carmelo Anthony due to his scoring acumen. As a high schooler at Simeon Academy in Chicago, Parker led the prolific program to four straight IHSA class 4A championships, all while earning status as one of the top recruits in the nation. Parker was the first freshman to ever start on Simeon’s varsity team.
Parker signed with Duke after high school, where he played one season. During that one season Parker broke the Duke freshman scoring record for a season, averaging 19.3 points per game. After his freshman season, he was drafted by the Bucks where he spent the next four years.
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