Jabari Parker is heading back home. The Chicago native and former No. 2 overall pick will be joining the Bulls. The team confirmed the signing on Saturday. The deal is for two years and $40 million, according to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. He had been a restricted free agent, but the Milwaukee Bucks pulled their qualifying offer at the last moment, allowing Parker to become an unrestricted free agent and simply agree to a deal with the Bulls.
Free agent forward Jabari Parker has agreed to a two-year, $40M deal with the Chicago Bulls, league sources tell ESPN. Milwaukee rescinded Parker's qualifying offer moments ago, making him unrestricted.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 14, 2018
Parker averaged 12.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 38.3 percent on 3-pointers last season, but played just 31 games after returning from ACL surgery in February. It was the second time in just four seasons that Parker had to make a return from a torn ACL.
The second year of Parker's deal is reportedly a team option, which, given Parker's previous injury history, is smart from the Bulls' perspective. It remains to be seen, however, if the same will be said for signing Parker in the first place. It's easy to see the allure of signing a former No. 2 overall and hometown kid who still has plenty of talent, and will be boon for the marketing department.
However, Parker works best as a power forward, and it seems likely there will now be a logjam in the team's frontcourt. Lauri Markkanen, the team's first-round pick last season, is also best suited to play the four, and looked impressive in that role last season. Plus the team has Robin Lopez, Bobby Portis Jr. and this year's first-round pick, Wendell Carter Jr.
The plan, according to a report from K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, is to play Parker at the three alongside Markkanen and one of Lopez and Carter in the frontcourt. That may work on offense, but the defense figures to be quite a problem for the Bulls.