According to a report from Bill Oram of The Athletic, the Bulls had a trade in place in late January involving Jabari Parker, that would have certainly changed the makeup of the team and their offseason priorities.
The Chicago Bulls had a tentative deal in place with the Los Angeles Lakers on the weekend of January 25th to acquire Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Beasley for Jabari Parker.— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) April 9, 2019
The Bulls waited three days but KCP never approved the deal.
(Via Bill Oram of The Athletic)
The deal, would have netted the Bulls Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Beasley, but after 72 hours and no trade approval from Caldwell-Pope--who has a de facto no-trade clause--the deal was nixed.
Parker is averaging 14.5 PPG on 49.3 percent shooting through 64 games this season. In January he was in the midst of his best shooting month, hitting 57.1 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from the 3-point line. He would have be an intriguing addition to a Lakers team that is already stocked full of wing/forward types who run between 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-8.
On top of the awkward positional fit, Parker would have done little to help the Lakers’ shooting woes. Through 79 games, the Lakers are 2nd to last in the league in 3-point percentage and Parker was shooting well below the league average from deep (31.3 percent from 3-point line) on the season.
But the nature of Parker’s contract--team option after this season--fits the Lakers plan of keeping their cap sheets clean to position themselves for a big free agency.
Michael Beasley is no longer in the NBA after signing a deal in late February with the Guangdong of the Chinese Basketball Association. Caldwell-Pope is was making $12 million this season, but did have a 15 percent trade kicker that would have gone into effect if he was moved to the Bulls.
Caldwell-Pope played all 82 games in 2018-19, averaging 11.4 points per game and shooting 34.7 percent from the 3-point line. He would’ve been the second-most aggressive 3-point shooter on the Bulls after Lauri Markkanen, effectively slotting into the role that Otto Porter Jr. is in now.
Based off of the numbers of Caldwell-Pope and the fact that the Bulls won 5 of their first 7 games after acquiring Porter, it is safe to say the Bulls are pleased with the way things worked out.
A Parker for Caldwell-Pope swap would have allowed the Bulls the financial flexibility to try to make a splashy move in regards to the loaded 2019 NBA free agent class. But the move they settled on in bringing in Porter has provided the Bulls with a small dose of much sought-after lineup stability.
And more important than anything, the Porter acquisition allowed the Bulls front office to properly evaluate Markkanen and Zach LaVine, showing that this unit can run an effective offense with proper floor spacing.
The Bulls took the traditional route, building with players under team control rather than chasing big stars, something that has not proved successful for them in recent years. Amid a season that has been anything but traditional, the stability and normalcy added by Otto Porter was a very, very needed occurrence and has the Bulls positioned well heading into the May 14 NBA Draft Lottery.