Jabari Parker leaves Bucks, signs with hometown Chicago Bulls
CHICAGO, United States – The Chicago Bulls on Saturday, July 14, confirmed the signing of Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker in a deal worth a reported $40 million over two seasons.
"Jabari is a 23-year-old player who is a natural fit with our young core, and is a proven scorer at the NBA level," Bulls general manager Gar Forman said in a statement.
"We look forward to welcoming him back to his hometown."
Terms of the deal were not disclosed but several US media reports said Parker had signed a two-year deal worth $20 million per season.
The Bulls have waived Paul Zipser and Julyan Stone to free up salary space for Parker's arrival.
Parker was the second overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and and has played all four seasons in Milwaukee.
He played in 183 games for the Bucks, averaging 15.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and two assists per game.
Parker's career has been interrupted by two serious knee injuries during his first four seasons in the league.
The rising star was coming off an injury-plagued year last season with the Bucks, in which he started just 3 games in 31 appearances after sitting out nearly a year due to a left ACL tear.
He posted middling averages of 12.6 points and 4.9 rebounds a game last season where he was frequently rested and not allowed to play back-to-back games. He then averaged just 10 points a night off the bench in his first-ever playoff stint.
Prior to his ACL tear, Parker was tearing it up with career-high averages of 20.1 points and 6.1 rebounds alongside All-Star centerpiece Giannis "The Greek Freak" Antetokounmpo.
After losing the starting forward job to Antetokounmpo and two-way swingman Khris Middleton, Parker now has a chance to redeem himself at home playing alongside fellow young guns like two-time Slam Dunk Champion Zach LaVine, Finnish unicorn Lauri Markkanen, combo guard Kris Dunn and 2018 7th overall pick Wendell Carter, Jr.
Parker graduated from the Simeon Career Academy high school in Chicago before playing one collegiate season at Duke University.
The Bulls have an option on the second year of Parker's deal, meaning he effectively has a season to prove his form and fitness.
Bucks general manager Jon Horst said Parker had been made an unrestricted free agent to help facilitate the Bulls trade.
"We appreciate everything Jabari has brought to our team and our community over the last four years and we wish him well," Horst said in a statement. – Rappler.com