Jabari Parker

Paul Zipser To Play In Spain

Former Bulls forward Paul Zipser has found a new home for the rest of the 2018/19 season, having joined Spanish team San Pablo Burgos, according to a tweet from Spain’s Liga ACB (hat tip to Sportando).

Zipser, a second-round pick in the 2016 draft, had a decent rookie year in 2016/17, but averaged just 4.0 PPG and 2.4 RPG in 54 games (15.3 MPG) for the Bulls in 2017/18. The 24-year-old German was waived by Chicago last July in order to create the cap room necessary to finalize the signing of Jabari Parker.

A new NBA opportunity appeared to open up for Zipser earlier this month, with the Nets seemingly on the verge of signing him to a two-way contract. However, Alan Williams – who had left Brooklyn in the hopes of signing a deal with a Chinese team – ultimately remained stateside and returned to the Nets, occupying the two-way slot that Zipser would have taken.

As a result, he’ll resume his professional career overseas, playing for a European team for the first time since 2016. Zipser began his career with USC Heidelberg in Germany in 2010 and spent several seasons with Bayern Munich from 2013-16.

Bulls Notes: Lopez, Boylen, Portis

Robin Lopez‘s shaky status with the Bulls led to some tense moments during practice on Monday, according to a series of Chicago Sun-Times tweets. Lopez was told prior to practice that his minutes might be reduced and he showed his irritation on the court, exchanging words with guard Kris Dunn, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN.

Coach Jim Boylen removed him from practice for approximately 10 minutes because Boylen felt he was getting too chippy. No punches were thrown, but the incident displayed how frustrated the veteran center feels about being in limbo. He and his expiring $14.36MM contract are on the trading block but the market for him is currently quiet after a potential deal fell through last week.

Chicago is hoping to get at least a second-round pick for Lopez without having to take back anything but another expiring contract to match up the salaries, Andrews adds. The Bulls have so far resisted buying out Lopez in the hopes that a trade can be worked out before the deadline.

We have more on the Bulls:

  • The re-negotiation of Boylen’s contract was mainly a show of support by management rather than a firm commitment, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune explains. Boylen had his salary doubled from what he was making as an assistant to $1.6MM. He also received a $1MM guarantee for his $1.6MM salary next season. That still might make him the lowest-paid coach in the league and doesn’t preclude him from getting fired if management has an unexpected change of heart, Johnson continues. It does show that the brass recognizes Boylen is trying to implement his philosophy without the benefit of a training camp or hiring his own staff, Johnson adds.
  • Forward Bobby Portis felt Kevin Durant intentionally injured him on Friday, Chelsea Howard of the Sporting News relays. Portis sprained his elbow when he got tangled up with the Warriors superstar. “If I would have done that, I would have got a foul call on me, defensive foul,” Portis said. “I guess it’s just who you’re playing against. Everything is officiated different toward whoever it is, but if you look back at the video at the time, it was obvious.”
  • The Knicks have considered moving disgruntled center Enes Kanter in a deal for Bulls forward Jabari Parker. Get the details here.

Knicks Have Explored Kanter, Parker Trade Scenario

As the Knicks attempt to find a new home for Enes Kanter, one scenario recently discussed by the team would see New York acquire Bulls forward Jabari Parker, reports Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.

Both Kanter ($18.6MM) and Parker ($20MM) are on pricey expiring contracts, and the Knicks were previously cited as one of the teams that expressed interest in the former No. 2 overall pick. However, Chicago is unlikely to have any interest in Kanter, since the team is headed for the lottery and wants youngsters like Wendell Carter, Lauri Markkanen, and Bobby Portis to handle the brunt of the frontcourt minutes.

Bondy acknowledges as much, writing that finding a third team to take Kanter represented a “snag in the framework” of a deal involving Kanter and Parker. It’s unclear if discussions ever really got off the ground and advanced beyond the preliminary stages, Bondy adds.

Like the Bulls, the Knicks are currently focused on player development rather than playoff contention, and Kanter has made it clear he’s not on board with that approach, so the team has been on the lookout for potential trades.

The Knicks reportedly talked to the Kings about a possible swap involving Kanter and Zach Randolph, who has an $11MM+ expiring contract. Bondy suggests that Sacramento would like to add Kosta Koufos – another veteran on an expiring contract – to that hypothetical deal, but says the Knicks would require a sweetener (ie. a second-round pick) to make it work.

It’s not clear how much interest the Knicks really have in Parker, but if they like him as a player and view him as a better long-term fit than Kanter, acquiring him in a trade would give them some options in the offseason. His $20MM team option will certainly be declined, but whichever team has him at the end of the season would hold his Non-Bird rights and could offer him a starting salary ranging from anywhere between the minimum and $24MM.

Bulls Notes: Parker, Boylen, Portis, Holiday

After getting a rare chance to play Saturday night, Jabari Parker told Mike Sorensen of The Deseret News that he has thought about coming to Utah as a way out of his current situation in Chicago. Parker already has strong ties to the area, owning a house near Salt Lake City. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and considered playing at BYU before going to Duke.

“Yeah, I have. I already have a home here, and I visit here frequently,” Parker responded when asked if he has thought of joining the Jazz.

There’s been no recent indication that Utah is interested in acquiring Parker and his $20MM salary, though a mid-December report linked the two sides. Parker was sent to the end of the Bulls’ bench when coach Jim Boylen took over, reportedly because of poor defense and attitude issues. Injuries gave him a chance on Saturday and he responded with 11 points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes.

“It’s nothing that can be explained, just his gut feeling,” Parker said of Boylen’s decision to bench him. “I’ve just got to respect that. He’s the head coach, but I also want to do what’s best for me. Hopefully I can get somewhere where I can show my talent, and I can be treated accordingly, too.”

There’s more this morning from Chicago:

  • Boylen only has a $1MM guarantee for next year on his new contract, according to an ESPN report, giving the organization some flexibility if it decides to go in a different direction. The new arrangement, which Boylen negotiated himself, will pay him $1.6MM this season, twice what he was getting as associate head coach under Fred Hoiberg. He will receive another $1.6MM if he lasts all of next season. “The Bulls have been very gracious to me and very supportive,” Boylen told Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. “… They’re fair and honest and direct, and I respond to that well.” (Twitter link)
  • Bobby Portis believes he has a reputation as a villain after last year’s fight with Nikola Mirotic, relays Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Portis claims referees have treated him differently since the skirmish, citing a play on Friday in which he alleges that the Warriors’ Kevin Durant grabbed his arm in an attempt to injure him. “I have that negative put on me like I’m a bad guy,’’ Portis said. “Obviously, everything is officiated differently towards me. You don’t care about that but it’s just what I made it cause of that incident last year. Everybody thinks I’m this bad guy when really I’m a really good dude. Image is everything, and I guess that’s what my image is.”
  • Last week’s trade of Justin Holiday left a vacancy on the Bulls’ new leadership committee, Cowley tweets, adding that Kris Dunn is most likely to be appointed.

Bulls Notes: Hutchison, Parker, Grizzlies Trade

Before Thursday’s trade with the Grizzlies, Justin Holiday was a regular starter at small forward for the Bulls, starting every game he played in during the 2018/19 season. But now that he’s gone, the Bulls are asking yet another rookie, 2018 first-round pick Chandler Hutchison, to step up and play a significant role just like they’ve already asked of fellow 2018 draftee, rookie big man Wendell Carter, writes Sam Smith of Bulls.com.

“Chandler will start at the three (small forward),” head coach Jim Boylen confirmed before last night’s game. “I like his defense, his length and rebounding. He can handle the ball. He can drive the ball. I’m excited to see him play. I want to see him compete. He doesn’t have to do anything great. Just compete. Play within yourself and play like ‘Bulls’ across his chest is important.”

Hutchison, 22, is only averaging 4.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game and has struggled to get going on offense so far this season, generally being brought in for defensive intensity rather than offensive prowess. As such, the loss of Holiday will likely put something of a strain on the Bulls’ already dismal offense.

But, as has been obvious all season, the Bulls are playing for the future of the franchise, not this season’s club. And with Hutchison now in the starting lineup alongside Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, and Carter (all 24 years old or younger), the Bulls’ now hope to have their starting lineup of the future in place.

There’s more from the Windy City:

  • In a performance that accurately summed up his inconsistent time in Chicago thus far, Bulls’ forward Jabari Parker did a few things well in last night’s loss to the Pacers that were ultimately not enough to make up for his glaring shortcomings, writes Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago.
  • In another article for Bulls.com, Smith relays how Bulls’ VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson views the two second-round picks received from the Grizzlies in Thursday’s trade, writing that Paxson called them “crucial” to the team’s development goals. The Bulls now have a second-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft after having previously traded their selection away in 2016.
  • The Bulls created a modest traded player exception (TPE) worth a little more than $2.7MM, the difference between Holiday’s and MarShon Brooks‘ 2018/19 salaries, when they traded Holiday to the Grizzlies for Brooks and Wayne Selden. Find out how here.

Central Notes: Lopez, Parker, Love, Carter, Pistons

It’s only a matter of time before Bulls center Robin Lopez and forward Jabari Parker are either traded or bought out, suggests Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. The Bulls are in fire sale mode and the Justin Holiday deal with the Grizzlies is just the start, Mayberry continues. Lopez has an expiring contract, while Parker has lost his rotation spot under new coach Jim Boylen. Lopez jokingly referenced in practice Friday how he could be the next shoe to drop with the front office in a seller’s mode, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune relays. “There’s kind of been a little shoe-dangling over the past couple years,” Lopez said.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Cavaliers forward Kevin Love can progress with “select” basketball activities and continue to advance his therapy and strength and conditioning program, according to a team press release. Love has been targeting a mid-January from the foot surgery he underwent in early November and the latest news suggests the timetable hasn’t changed. There have been conflicting reports recently on whether the rebuilding team is interested in trading the power forward, who signed an extension during the offseason.
  • Bulls rookie center Wendell Carter Jr. has seen wild swings in his playing time but he’s not squawking about it, Mayberry reports in a separate story.  Carter played a season-low 13 minutes against Orlando on Wednesday and has played fewer than 20 minutes in five games since Boylen took charge. Carter blamed himself for his limited minutes against the Magic. “I don’t feel like I brought it,” Carter said. “I couldn’t get into a good groove. So I would have (taken) myself out.”
  • The Pistons’ cap situation will improve marginally this offseason, Rod Beard of the Detroit News notes. Reggie Jackson, Jon Leuer and Langston Galloway will also be entering the final year of their contracts and that could open up opportunities for the team to retool, Beard adds.

Central Notes: Love, Hutchison, Ilyasova, Parker

Trade talks involving Cavaliers forward Kevin Love will heat up in the coming weeks, Marc Stein of the New York Times predicts in his latest newsletter. Love, who signed a four-year, $120MM extension over the summer, becomes trade eligible on January 24th. Love is still sidelined after undergoing toe surgery but could return to action sometime this month. Love is still regarded by some NBA executives as a difference-maker who could be available despite the Cavaliers’ insistence they don’t want to deal him, according to Stein. The Nuggets might be a team to watch, since they have coveted Love for years and may be in a win-now mode, Stein adds.

We have more from around the Central Division:

  • Bulls first-round pick Chandler Hutchison has embraced the role of defensive stopper, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times writes. Hutchison is averaging a modest 4.2 PPG and 3.5 RPG in 17.2 MPG but he has heeded coach Jim Boylen’s urging to become a defensive presence. “For me right away that was the first thing I noticed was I can help the team,’’ Hutchison told Cowley. “Then one thing leads to the next if you can help the team. Coaches are going to find a way to get you on the floor, which is a reward for me, but also if I can help the team in areas that we need help, it’s going to help us win.’’
  • Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer plans to keep power forward Ersan Ilyasova in the rotation when he returns from a fractured nose that required surgery, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Ilyasova, who suffered the injury during a December 16th practice, could return to action this weekend. Second-year man D.J. Wilson has played well in his absence. “Ersan’s somebody that we think we’ll find minutes for and then (with) those young guys, keep trying to figure out how we can keep them involved and growing and developing, but I guess for me it’s a couple days away,” Budenholzer said.
  • The Bulls have tried to package forward Jabari Parker with the expiring contracts of either swingman Justin Holiday or center Robin Lopez in preliminary trade talks, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports. Parker, who has been benched by Boylen, has a $20MM team option on his contract for next season. Holiday is making approximately $4.4MM, while Lopez is pulling in $14.35MM this season.

Bulls’ Jabari Parker Discusses Benching

Jabari Parker refuses to assign blame for his current situation in Chicago, but in an interview with K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, he states, “I kept my end of the bargain.”

Parker hasn’t left the bench for the past seven games and has barely seen the court at all since coach Jim Boylen took over when Fred Hoiberg was fired earlier this month. It’s a situation neither side could have envisioned over the summer when the Bulls gave Parker a two-year, $40MM contract to return to his hometown and become part of the team’s young core.

Parker started 17 games early in the season before Hoiberg moved him to a reserve role. Boylen, with an emphasis on defense and discipline, wasn’t happy with Parker’s effort on that end of the court and pulled him from the rotation completely.

Parker is now waiting as the team and his representatives try to work out a deal before the February 7 deadline.

“I don’t think it’s Jim’s fault,” Parker said. “It’s bigger than Jim. I think it’s the overall organization and the direction they’re going. I’ve done everything that’s been asked of me. I didn’t complain. I never had an argument or confrontation with anybody. I’ve done what I do.”

Although the demotion might suggest otherwise, Parker hasn’t been a complete bust during his time in Chicago. He’s third on the team in scoring at 15.2 PPG and tied for third in rebounding at 6.9 per game. However, at 45.5% from the floor and 29.3% from 3-point range, he is shooting well below his career averages and has been singled out for poor transition defense.

“I give another threat on offense that can help the team,” Parker said. “I’m a willing passer. And I rebound. It’s not just transition defense. Nobody is perfect in transition.”

Even though the second year of Parker’s contract is non-guaranteed, little progress has been made in trade talks. According to Johnson, teams want the Bulls to take on expensive, multiyear deals in return, which the team isn’t willing to do. Parker doesn’t care where he winds up; he’s just looking for a chance to prove himself again.

“Honestly, I just want to play,” he said. “I’ve stayed ready. I want to play meaningful minutes — not 4 minutes and nothing for the rest of the game. I just have to wait for that chance and opportunity. There’s a bigger picture here, so I’m staying prepared and patient.”

Dinwiddie Extension Good News For Rozier, Russell?

League executives at last week’s G League Showcase in Las Vegas were “raving” about the Nets‘ deal to lock up Spencer Dinwiddie to a three-year, $34.3MM extension, comparing it to the Clippers‘ three-year, $24MM agreement with Lou Williams, writes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider-only link).

According to Marks, two teams he spoke to in Vegas had Dinwiddie ranked as the third-best point guard in the 2019 free agent class before he signed his extension, placing him behind only Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker. That would have put Dinwiddie ahead of younger players like Terry Rozier (Celtics) and D’Angelo Russell (Nets), both of whom are on track for restricted free agency.

Rozier and Russell should benefit from Dinwiddie’s deal, since it takes one of 2019’s top FA point guards off the board and could create additional competition for their services. According to Marks, league execs in Vegas last week identified the Magic and Suns as probable suitors for Rozier and Russell, though the Celtics and Nets will have the upper hand until an offer sheet is on the table.

Here’s more from Marks:

  • Teams are monitoring Markelle Fultz, not just to keep an eye on his health and future, but also to see how Fultz’s status will impact Sixers teammate T.J. McConnell, according to Marks. McConnell is headed for unrestricted free agency and is unlikely to get an in-season extension if Philadelphia intends to maximize its 2019 cap room. McConnell could command a salary in the $5-7MM range, Marks notes.
  • Teams around the NBA believe there could be a strong group of buyout candidates available later this season. According to Marks, the veteran players that clubs are keeping an eye on include Carmelo Anthony, Robin Lopez, Zach Randolph, Anthony Tolliver, Enes Kanter, Kenneth Faried, Jerryd Bayless, Iman Shumpert, Kosta Koufos, Alec Burks, J.R. Smith, and Jabari Parker. Some of those vets may be traded and some figure to remain with their current teams, but I could definitely see several of them ending up on the buyout market.

Jim Boylen Solidifies Position With Bulls

With a potential player revolt now behind him, new coach Jim Boylen seems to have the Bulls headed in the right direction and may be in position for an extension this summer, according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times.

Boylen has enjoyed the full support of team management since taking over after the firing of Fred Hoiberg three weeks ago. He was empowered to bring toughness that many believed was lacking under Hoiberg, and it appears the players are starting to buy in. Chicago has won three of its last five games, including a victory in San Antonio.

“I have been in the league awhile,’’ Boylen said about his relationship with the front office. “If the time comes where they need my support, I’ll be there for them all night long. Whatever they need. We are connected. Never felt more supported in anything in my life and I appreciate it.’’

Cowley adds that Boylen, who wasn’t given an interim title when he took over the job, is almost certain to return next season, with or without an extension. However, that’s not true for everyone as the Bulls are expected to be active in trade talks through the February 7 deadline. Here’s the status of several players currently on the roster, according to Cowley:

  • It’s no secret Chicago wants to move Jabari Parker, who was an expensive free agent addition over the summer. Parker was pulled from the rotation shortly after Boylen took over and hasn’t played at all since December 13.
  • Robin Lopez could be a backup center for a contender and has an expiring contract worth nearly $14.4MM, but Cowley doesn’t expect the Bulls to get more than a second-round pick in return. Justin Holiday, with a $4.4MM expiring deal, may also be in demand.
  • Kris Dunn‘s improved play of late may keep him in Chicago. Part of the return in the trade that sent Jimmy Butler to Minnesota, Dunn is working toward “core status” with the organization. He will be eligible for a contract extension next summer.