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Bulls’ Jabari Parker downplays poor preseason play

Jabari Parker, Bulls

Chicago Bulls forward Jabari Parker has had a rough preseason thus far. Through three games, Parker is averaging 8.7 points while shooting a woeful 24.3 percent from the field and 14.3 percent from the 3-point line.

The Chicago native, who signed a two-year, $40 million deal with his hometown Bulls in July, is not concerned about his struggles and says every player has a tough time adjusting to a new team. Parker says he would rather play bad in the preseason instead of the regular season, which begins next week.

“Just getting used to different guys and hearing their voices is pretty much important,” Parker said, via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. “I knew it was going to take some time. It’s a new environment for me and other people too. I’m not looking at it in months. I’m trying to build years here. Every team in the beginning is going to take some bumps and bruises to get to where they are.

“I’m getting better each game. It’s going to be slow trying to know where I want to be on the floor and trying to adjust. It’s new to me. Just trying to get a better feel, a better rhythm. I knew where I could expect getting my shots with the previous team.

“It’s just pretty much like the practice before the big performance too. It’s important to get everything situated. I’m glad that it’s going now rather than later when it really counts.”

The second year of Parker’s contract with the Bulls is a team option, essentially giving Parker a one-year tryout with Chicago to prove he can stay healthy and be productive.

In 31 games in 2017-18 with the Milwaukee Bucks, Parker averaged 12.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists while shooting 48.2 percent from the floor and 38.3 percent from beyond the arc. He missed most of the season recovering from his second ACL tear.