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Jabari Parker has fallen out of the Chicago Bulls’ regular rotation and a contract buyout could be a possibility, according to a report from Malika Andrews of ESPN.
The 23-year-old forward signed a two-year deal in free agency, but has struggled to find his niche with his hometown team.
His contract is worth $40 million and has a team option — meaning the Bulls can send him back into free agency at the end of the season.
“With Parker out of the regular rotation, it’s unlikely that the Bulls would exercise the team option on the second year of his deal,” Andrews reported. “There have been no conversations between Parker and his representatives on a potential buyout, but that could become an increasing possibility closer to the trade deadline.”
Parker moved to a reserve role following the return of second-year forward Lauri Markkenen a couple weeks ago. Parker’s numbers of 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds are solid, but the Bulls seem to think he doesn’t make much of a difference when it comes to winning and losing.
The Bulls recently fired coach Fred Hoiberg, replacing him with Jim Boylen. Since then, the Bulls lost to the Boston Celtics by a franchise-record 56 points and nearly boycotted a Boylen-mandated practice the next day.
“In practices, players have been asked to run suicides and drop down to do push-ups, unconventional drills at the NBA level,” Andrews reported. “While Boylen’s directive from management is to be tough, some players view Boylen’s coaching style as excessive.”
Parker is 6-foot-8 and plays both forward spots. He was drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in 2014 and spent his first four seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks.