Bulls

Bulls agree to two-year deal with Jabari Parker

Bulls agree to two-year deal with Jabari Parker

Jabari Parker is coming home.

Parker agreed to a two-year, $40 million deal with the Bulls early Saturday, according to sources, moments after becoming an unrestricted free agent.

The Milwaukee Bucks rescinded their qualifying offer to Parker to expedite the process as they had no intention of matching an offer sheet for Parker, setting free a player they selected second in the 2014 NBA Draft.

The Bulls and Parker had been in contact the last several days, as the Bulls cleared just enough salary cap space by trading Jerian Grant and rescinding David Nwaba’s qualifying offer after matching Zach LaVine’s offer sheet one week ago.

Parker, one of Chicago’s most decorated prep stars, hopes to find better luck and better health back in his hometown. A promising start to his career has been marred with two ACL tears in his left knee in December 2014 and February 2017.

With those injuries in mind, the second year is a team option for the Bulls—ensuring flexibility for the franchise should things go awry with his body or even the fit.

Parker has played a total of 82 games the last two seasons, as the second tear was seemed more devastating than the first considering he was averaging 20.1 points and 6.2 rebounds on 49 percent shooting in 2016-17, trying to fit himself alongside budding superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Now, though, Parker will try to fit himself playing next to second-year forward Lauri Markkanen and LaVine—his draftmate in 2014. Part of the Bulls’ pitch to Parker was moving him to small forward, a position he’s played with more frequency the last two seasons.

Shooting 37 percent from 3-point range the last two seasons makes him a fit in Fred Hoiberg’s space-driven offensive scheme, as well as his ability to create his own offense off the dribble.

Defensively there will be questions, considering his ACL tears that usually strip away a player’s lateral movement. Presumably, the Bulls will have to hide Parker at times and move him to power forward when they can—although they seem to be well-stocked at the two frontline positions with Robin Lopez, Markkanen, Bobby Portis and incoming rookie Wendell Carter Jr.

Parker was a four-year starter at Simeon Career Academy before going to Duke for one season.

And now, as a grizzled 23-year-old, Parker returns to his cocoon, hoping to jumpstart a still-promising career while aiming to help his hometown team return to relevance.

Our first look at the full NBA 2K20 roster models for the 2019-20 Bulls

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USA TODAY

Our first look at the full NBA 2K20 roster models for the 2019-20 Bulls

The release date of NBA 2K20 is near and as the September 6 release date gets closer, Bulls fans are finally getting a look at the full roster in video game form. 

Among the things that stand out in the video from Sports & Gaming Journalist Brian Mazique, the things that stood out the most was the new Zenni patch on the Bulls uniforms, which now has a light blue background to make the patch stand out a bit more. 

We had already seen how 2019 rookies Coby White and Daniel Gafford look but Thursday represented our first look at players like new Bulls Thaddeus Young, Tomas Satoransky and the longest-tenured Bull, Brazilian big man Cristiano Felicio.

Young currently sports a short-haircut after having more an afro in the 2019 season, so only time will tell if 2K will update his look before the season kicks off on October 22. 

Also fully visible in the video are the overall 2K ratings of all players on the team including Satoransky (75), Young (79), Wendell Carter Jr. (78), Otto Porter (80), Lauri Markkanen (83) and Zach LaVine (85).

Based off of what we see in the video, NBA fans can expect to see the Bulls simulate pretty well in NBA 2K20 as the roster's veteran talent will provide some balance as the young core develops, much like what the Bulls front office is hoping for in real life. 

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Lauri Markkanen makes the top 35 NBCsport's 50 best players in 5 years

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USA TODAY

Lauri Markkanen makes the top 35 NBCsport's 50 best players in 5 years

Over the summer the NBA team over at NBC Sports undertook a fun project in which they ranked the top 50 talents in the NBA in 2024. 

NBCSports.com's 50 best players in 5 years list is an interesting snapshot into the future of the league. Writers included Dan FeldmanTom HaberstrohRob DausterTommy BeerSteve Alexander, and Kurt Helin

While it is was fun to see where aging versions of Steph Curry (36 in 2024) and Klay Thomspon (34 in 2024) rank, the most interesting names on the list were the young talents who are projected to stars in the near future. Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen made the top 35, coming in at No. 34 on the list.

In the 2024 season, Markkanen will be 27 years old and theoretically, smack dab in the middle of his prime.

Coming into the 2019-20 season, 'The Finnisher' is on quite a roll. In his age-21 season, he averaged 20.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per 36 minutes and posted a career-best 55.3 true shooting percentage. 

The Bulls will need to Markkanen to step up his effort in terms of defense and rebounding, with the absence of Robin Lopez putting more stress on the frontcourt to pick up the slack in that department. Kurt Hellin acknowledged that if he can focus on consistency and commitment to D, the sky is truly the limit for Markkanen. 

The question is, can he [Markkanen] reach that ceiling consistently? He’s only 22, but he has yet to come anywhere near that.....If Markkanen can become a more consistent offensive force and better on the defensive end — he’s not a bad defender, he’s okay, but with his length and athleticism he should be a better rim protector — he can take over the role as the alpha on the Bulls

See the rest of NBCSports.com's 50 best players in 5 years list below:

Players 50-46

Players 45-41

Players 40-36

Players 35-31