Jabari Parker’s role with the Bulls remains unchanged, but is a trade looming?
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PORTLAND, Ore. — For a few minutes during the Bulls’ shootaround Wednesday morning, it appeared that forward Jabari Parker was earning his Get Out of Jail Free card as coach Jim Boylen sat next to him, computer in hand, giving him some heavy instruction.
Asked about it several minutes later, Boylen made it clear that Parker’s spot as last man on the bench wasn’t likely to change anytime soon, weeks after he was pulled from the regular rotation.
“I want him to have a feel for what we’re trying to do,” Boylen said. “He doesn’t get all the practice reps. Obviously, he hasn’t been playing. Just [trying] to help him, coach him through.’’
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Boylen dismissed the question of Parker jumping reserve Shaquille Harrison in the rotation — likely not the news Parker wanted to hear, but who even knows how much longer he has with his hometown team? The trade deadline is less than a month away, and the Bulls have a history of getting moves done sooner rather than later. They traded forward Nikola Mirotic at the end of January last season and already moved guard Justin Holiday last week.
Sources continue to say the market on Parker is cool and that big man Robin Lopez is more likely to be traded before Parker — potentially giving the Bulls’ roster a new look by the time they come off this 10-day, five-city trip.
“Nobody has come and talked to me about [their trade status],” Boylen said. “What I try to do is coach our guys every day, like men. Under all that, we understand what the business is.”