Bulls coach Jim Boylen will make sure Jabari Parker isn’t a distraction

SHARE Bulls coach Jim Boylen will make sure Jabari Parker isn’t a distraction
SHARE Bulls coach Jim Boylen will make sure Jabari Parker isn’t a distraction

TORONTO — The Bulls’ organization is no stranger to chaos. It seems to be part of the culture.

But at least the team hasn’t let trade rumblings turn into distractions.

Ex-coach Fred Hoiberg was able to pull off the feat last season, when Nikola Mirotic returned from his practice altercation with Bobby Portis and demanded to be sent elsewhere, and Jim Boylen has been handling the Jabari Parker trade talk the same way.

“I’m not [concerned that Parker will become a distraction],’’ Boylen said Sunday. “He had a good practice [Saturday]. I thought he worked hard and thought he was locked in, and that’s what I want. That’s what I want from him, and you gotta stay ready for your opportunity when it comes. That’s what I expect of him. That’s what I need him to do.’’

Boylen was asked what type of dialogue he has with Parker, a permanent fixture on the end of the bench after signing a two-year, $40 million free-agent contract in the offseason.

“Do your work, man, stay ready,’’ Boylen said. “Just like Cam Payne, just like Cris Felicio. You do your work, stay ready. That’s part of your job; that’s what you get paid for. And be ready when called upon.’’

The Parker trade talks haven’t heated up at all, according to a source. There have been conversations about possible landing spots for the former Simeon standout, but only if the Bulls are willing to take back bad multiyear contracts in return.

No sale.

The Bulls could rid themselves of the Parker deal this summer, owning the option on him, so why take another team’s bad decision and be locked into it for several seasons?

And unless the landscape changes by the Feb. 7 trade deadline, Parker will simply remain the highest-paid in-game warmup model in the NBA.

Staying vague

Portis “had a good day’’ rehabbing his sprained right ankle Saturday, but Boylen wouldn’t provide a more detailed timetable other than the original two to four weeks.


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“He improved, and his treatments are helping him,’’ Boylen said. “He was real positive [Sunday] morning.

‘‘I don’t have any timetable. I have no idea when he’s coming back, but I could tell with that look in his eye that he felt he made a big stride, and that made me feel good for him, too.’’

Building a leader

Members of the coaching staff have been trying to get Zach LaVine to become more of a leader since last season, and, according to a source, the results have been positive.

LaVine acknowledged as much.

“We are going to go through some tough patches,’’ LaVine said of all the changes made since the Dec. 3 coaching switch. “We can’t break apart. I have been trying to talk to everybody, keep everybody together. We’re going to be OK. We’re a tough group, and we’re going to show why we’re good soon.’’

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