A whole lot has been going on with Jabari Parker lately, from being benched to popping up in trade rumors to catching a serious stomach illness.
With Parker’s future as a Bull up in the air, things appeared to become a bit more clear, in the near term at least, with the new Bobby Portis injury.
INJURY UPDATE: Bobby Portis injured his right ankle in the fourth quarter of the Bulls game vs. the Brooklyn Nets last night. An MRI and repeat physical exam were performed this morning, and he was diagnosed with a sprained ankle. Portis will be out two-to-four weeks. pic.twitter.com/MzdSqO7gSp
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) December 20, 2018
In theory, this injury should buy the Bulls more time to figure out what to do with Parker before he becomes a problem sulking on the bench. That has not been the case, as Parker returned to the team Sunday against the Cavaliers but was still a healthy DNP.
Jabari Parker has reportedly become detached from the team since Fred Hoiberg was fired, and quotes like this from Jim Boylen only seem to confirm that.
“From my seat, he needs to lock into practicing hard, playing hard and honoring the values of the team, which I’ve set forth for the team,’’
Does that sound like a coach that’s in a rush to throw the highest paid player on the team back in the lineup?
Look, Jabari Parker has not earned the right to get consistent minutes right now, regardless of how much John Paxson played him. As annoying as Boylen’s tough guy shtick has been, there is no denying how much better the team is defensively with Parker on the bench.
I don’t know where the Bulls and Parker will go from here, but a happy ending seems less likely by the day.