Some may look at the signing of Jabari Parker as a bit of a double-edged sword, writes K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, but Parker sees his addition to the Bulls as another weapon for head coach Fred Hoiberg to utilize as opposed to another body who may take shots away from the threesome of Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, and Lauri Markkanen.
“Those days we had in the gym two weeks ago were very central for us and especially for me,” Parker said. “I got a chance to see those guys up front. It’s different playing with them than against them. I finally got a chance to know here I need to be on the floor and my strengths and things I need to work on.”
“It’s going to take time, like anything else. I can’t put a date on it. But once we figure out each other and start to jell, we’ll see results. Chemistry is key with those guys. The ball is going to be in their hands a lot. Hopefully I can feed off them.”
Luckily for the Bulls, Parker, Markkanen, and LaVine all shoot at roughly the same frequency. For his career, Parker has taken 12.6 shot attempts per game, while Markkanen attempted 12.7 shots per game as a rookie and LaVine has averaged 11.7 attempts in the NBA since being drafted in 2014. Meanwhile, Dunn will be tasked with making sure the ball gets distributed as needed.
“Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been playing with these guys, getting a feel of each player,” Dunn said. “I have great chemistry with Lauri. Zach, he’s easy to play with because he’s a knockdown shooter. Jabari, he’s an unselfish player, a slasher. And Wendell (Carter Jr.) is another unselfish player who doesn’t need the ball.”
Dunn, LaVine, Parker, and Markkanen will likely all start next to veteran Robin Lopez, but Carter’s minutes should increase as the season goes on, with sixth man Bobby Portis rounding out the team’s young core. Parker will also be able to slide to power forward and play alongside Portis or Carter when Markkanen is on the bench.