When it comes to the Bulls big change in the starting lineup this preason, the inverse news of Bobby Portis’s big night is what it meant for big offseason acquisition Jabari Parker.
Congrats to anyone who had the fourth preseason game on "when will Jabari Parker get benched"— Ricky O'Donnell (@SBN_Ricky) October 11, 2018
For his part, Parker played...well, better than before, anyway.
Some Jabari first half highlights from the international league pass feed. Best half he's played in the preseason. pic.twitter.com/puW3a6drgk— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) October 11, 2018
He scored all 11 of his points in that first half, then went 0-5 from the field in the second.
While the ESPN telecast (which was brutal, like a general NBA roundtable being dubbed over a game) made clumsy mention of Parker’s embrace of a bench role, Parker declined to speak to reporters after the game and KC Johnson has more background on the decision not being taken totally well by Jabari:
Hoiberg downplayed the lineup change as “just an experiment.” But sources said Hoiberg has held internal discussions with his staff about shelving the plan to start Parker at small forward.
And while Hoiberg said Parker took the news well, multiple sources said Parker quickly exited when the morning shootaround concluded and he was informed of the news.
Parker, making $20m this season in what you can cynically interpret as just some Reinsdorf-GarPax grift as opposed to an actual basketball move, has said he isn’t being paid for defense, so maybe he figures he’s not paid to start, either. But that contract does have a team option and he undoubtedly wants to prove himself healthy and still on a stardom track when heading into his next contract.
I will give Hoiberg credit, I didn’t think he had the clout to actually reward playing time to the guys giving effort (Robin Lopez also firmly in the junkpile so far this preseason and he was benched too), but we shall see how it may impact the team to have a more disgruntled Parker, already.