Cleat Geeks

Ray Allen sees great potential in Jabari Parker

The Chicago Bulls signed talented forward Jabari Parker to a two-year, $40 million contract on July 14 and the move has plenty of excitement and buzz around it because of Parker’s potential to become a key part of a surging Bulls team.

There were questions about Parker’s health because he already dealt with two torn left ACLs in his first four seasons in the league but at the beginning of the summer he worked out with Ray Allen, who was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame, for four days and according to Gery Woelfel, journalist and editor for Woelfelspressbox.com, Allen praised Parker.

“He’s a very good, humble, down-to-earth guy,” Allen said. “As a player, he reminds me of Paul Pierce but bigger. His potential is so great.”

Parker has been a capable scorer, averaging 15.3 points on 49.0 percent shooting in 183 career games but his injury struggles raised concerns about his long-term future. Allen comparing him to Paul Pierce speaks volumes about Parker’s potential, as Pierce was one of the best players in the league during his 19-year career. Pierce won an NBA Championship, an NBA Finals MVP award, made several All-Star games and he owns Celtics records in 3-point field goals (1,823), free-throws (6,434) and steals (1,583).

The Bulls will meet the media on September 24 and have their first practice the following day. The team has the option on the second year of Jabari Parker’s deal so next season is crucial for him. Ray Allen complimenting him and working with him on his shooting form can really help his development.

NBA.com’s Matthew Blum believes that playing alongside 2018 All-Rookie First Team selection Lauri Markkanen will help Parker shine.

With Markkanen stretching out to the perimeter, Parker has room to operate in the midrange — an area of the floor he’s comfortable in but was often clogged in Milwaukee. If Parker can increase his efficiency around the rim, he and Markkanen should complement each other very well and develop a promising inside/out scoring tandem.

Markkanen and Parker are part of the young Bulls core along with Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and 2018 first-round pick Wendell Carter Jr. Look for the Bulls to go far this season as long as all of them are healthy and gel together.

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