Bulls Notes: Parker Looking 'To Get The Flow Going'

Jabari Parker seems a bit more accepting of his bench role.

Cody Westerlund
October 14, 2018 - 12:48 pm
Bulls forward Jabari Parker

Kamil Krzaczynski/USA Today Sports

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(670 The Score) With a few more days to digest his move to the bench and his best performance of the preseason fresh in his mind, Bulls forward Jabari Parker seemed a bit more open-minded about his reserve role Sunday.

Asked if he was accepting of his second-string status, Parker responded, "Yeah, whatever happens happens." He then placed the burden on himself to produce at a higher level and indicated he likes the facilitator role that coach Fred Hoiberg has asked him to play on the second unit.

"It just shouldn’t dictate how I go," Parker said. "It’s still improving for me, and I’ll get there one day.

"I just want to get the flow going. I don’t want to be stagnant. I want to get the ball ahead. It’s a good thing that initially, they’re playing behind behind the 3 (point line) when I bring it up, so a lot of times I get other guys open. It’s really a move for myself, but any position I’m in, I just try to improve."

It’s not set in stone yet, but signs point to Parker coming off the bench and the Bulls starting Bobby Portis at power forward – alongside Wendell Carter Jr., Justin Holiday, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn – when they open the season at the 76ers on Thursday. That’s a role Parker didn’t initially take to well, refusing to speak to reporters Wednesday night after being moved to the bench and then offering a “no comment” when asked Thursday if he’s willing to accept any role asked of him.

That’s what Hoiberg has been stressing, and he had praise for Parker’s 19-point performance on 7-of-11 shooting in the preseason finale Friday.

"Jabari was very aggressive on the offensive end," Hoiberg said. "Wasn’t always for him to get a shot. I thought he did a good job of making simple plays when they’re there."

Arcidiacono thrilled to make initial roster

After playing on a two-way contract last season, point guard Ryan Arcidiacono was thrilled to make the Bulls’ initial 15-man roster to start the season.

He has a partially guaranteed contract that becomes fully guaranteed on Jan. 10. The Bulls have one two-way contract slot open still, so the possibility exists that Arcidiacono could still fill that role and split time in the G League later in the season, but for now, the Bulls prioritized the depth he brings and Arcidiacono plans to push Cameron Payne for backup point guard minutes.

"It’s like Hard Knocks when you’re watching," Arcidiacono said of waiting to find out his status. "You don’t want to get that phone call. I was just thinking to myself after the game nobody said anything to me. I was talking to (assistant coach) Pete Myers (on Friday night) and he said, ‘Just get outta here, man. I’ll see you at practice on Sunday.’ I was still a little nervous on Friday night. Saturday morning, I felt better after I talked to my agent and everything became more official.

"Whatever our team needs, that’s what they’ll get from me. Whether that’s being a backup or the third point guard spot, I’m just here to compete and make our team better and hopefully get us some victories."

Valentine progressing little by little

Bulls wing Denzel Valentine was scheduled to partake in "a little bit" of the live contact portions of practice Sunday, Hoiberg said.

Valentine has been out since spraining his surgically repaired left ankle in the first week of training camp in late September. His status for the season opener remains in doubt.

Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for 670TheScore.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.​