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.