Bulls forward Jabari Parker

Mike DiNovo/USA Today Sports

Report: Bulls Having Jabari Parker Trade Talks

Parker has fallen out of the team's rotation.

December 14, 2018 - 2:33 pm
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(670 The Score) Jabari Parker became the Bulls' highest-paid player when he signed a two-year, $40-million deal in July that included a team option on the second season.

And now he could exit Chicago by Christmas. 

The Bulls have engaged in Parker trade talks with several teams recently, K.C. Johnson of the Tribune reported Friday. The news comes a day after the revelation that Parker has fallen out of the team's rotation. He played four minutes in a loss to the Magic on Thursday night, but those minutes came with fellow forward Chandler Hutchison sidelined by illness. 

After the game, new coach Jim Boylen didn't commit to Parker moving forward in any way, saying there may some opportunity for small forward minutes down the line, but Justin Holiday and Hutchison are currently ahead of him on the depth chart. Boylen ruled out playing Parker at power forward.

Having signed this past offseason, Parker isn't eligible to be traded until Saturday. The task of trading Parker will be complicated by his large salary that's not commesurate with his play, as teams will need to return hefty matching salary. Most players getting paid in such a range are key players for their teams. The Bulls also won't want to take on salary that stretches beyond the 2018-'19 season.

His initial season in Chicago has been rocky. With promising second-year pro Lauri Markkanen entrenched as the starting power forward, the Bulls named Parker their starting small forward when they signed him. It was a curious proclamation, given that Parker's best play in his first four NBA seasons with the Bucks came in the power forward role and that his defensive challenges become more pronounced when he must guard opposing wings.

After the Bulls struggled, former coach Fred Hoiberg shifted Parker to a reserve role after three games in the preseason. Parker ended back up in the starting lineup when Markkanen and fellow power forward Bobby Portis suffered serious injuries, but his role has diminished since they both returned. Boylen has been disappointed with Parker's defensive effort, according to reports.

Parker is averaging 15.2 points and 6.9 rebounds, the second-best marks on the team. He's shooting 45.5 percent overall and 29.3 percent on 3-pointers.