Bulls

Jabari Parker on departure from Bulls: 'I just wanted an opportunity'

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USA TODAY

Jabari Parker on departure from Bulls: 'I just wanted an opportunity'

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.

Bulls Talk Podcast: 90s Throwback-Being drafted by the Bulls with Stacey King

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Bulls Talk Podcast: 90s Throwback-Being drafted by the Bulls with Stacey King

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: