Jabari Parker's homecoming in Chicago lasted all of 39 games before the Bulls used his salary to match up in a deal with the Washington Wizards for Otto Porter in February.
Parker, who signed a two-year, $40 million deal with the Bulls last summer, wasn't able to find a spot in the rotation after Lauri Markkanen returned in December.
He was a healthy scratch in 12 of 13 games beginning in mid-December after Jim Boylen took over for Fred Hoiberg, and he played sparingly through January in an attempt to improve his trade stock.
It was obvious that Parker wasn't happy with the situation - something he would tell reporters after the trade in his return to Chicago with the Wizards - and in a Q+A with Hoops Hype on Friday told Alex Kennedy how he felt about his turbulent time in his hometown.
"I needed an opportunity to play. In the first quarter of the season, to just be the 16th man on the bench… I just wanted an opportunity, so I properly shared my wishes with the team. I had just made the move [to Chicago] months prior.
This is the first time Parker, who signed a two-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks this summer, has mentioned going to the Bulls himself about wanting a trade. But it made sense for both parties. The Bulls didn't want to pay someone $20 million to ride the bench, while Parker was in effect entering a contract year given no team was going to pick up his $20 million team option (especially the Bulls) for the following season.
So the Bulls found a partner in the Washington Wizards, who were in the midst of entering a rebuild post-John Wall injury and were looking for cap flexibility. Both Parker and Bobby Portis were free agents in the summer, and Otto Porter was slated to make $58 million the next two seasons.
The trade worked out for both sides. Parker and Portis put together nice seasons in Washington - Parker got the opportunity he was looking for, averaging 27.3 minutes per game - while Porter gave the Bulls an outside shooter and wing defender they needed in the worst way.
Host Jason Goff is joined by Bulls commentator Stacey King to discuss his time with the Bulls during the best decade in franchise history, the 90s. Stacey tells a detailed story of his first interactions with the Bulls, Phil Jackson, and Michael Jordan.
(1:22) - Being drafted by the Bulls
(4:10) - Doug Collins started the Bulls championship run
(8:20) - "After I was introduced as a Bull, Doug Collins was fired"
(9:15) - Almost getting into a fight with Phil Jackson
(16:57) - Animosity with Phil Jackson early in his career
(17:46) - 1st NBA game with Michael Jordan
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
After much speculation as to just how loaded the 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest would be, we now have a better idea of how the field will actually look. Though the full lineup is not out yet, we know that Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard is competing in the contest, hoping to bring back the excitement that surrounded the event when he was the star of it from 2007-09. The next name rumored to be competing was standout Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant but he has indeed declined an offer to the event.
According to sources that spoke to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Morant is focused on "good health for the duration of the season."
Morant is having a stellar rookie season that has led many to believe he will take home the 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year honors. He is averaging 18 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game on 49.4% shooting from the field, 40.7% from the 3-point line, and 80.4% from the free throw line. Morant's excellent play currently has the Grizzlies in the eighth and final playoff spot in Western Conference.
Morant did suffer an injury, resulting in back spasms, after a very serious fall into the baseline camera operator on November 25 in a game against the Pacers in Indiana.
There is still no official word as to whether or not Bulls star Zach LaVine will participate in the 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, as the belief is he wants to see if he will make the Eastern Conference All-Star team first. High-flying Miami Heat wing Derrick Jones Jr. is expected to receive an invite and accept it with the news of Morant declining, though it has been reported before that Jones—who was a runner-up in the 2017 dunk contest while with the Phoenix Suns—will definitely compete in Chicago.
The 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest takes place in Chicago on February 15, a day before the All-Star game.
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