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Bulls coach Jim Boylen praises Jabari Parker’s professionalism upon demotion, trade rumors

Jabari Parker, Jim Boylen, Bulls

Chicago Bulls forward Jabari Parker has been demoted in new coach Jim Boylen’s rotation, recently taking his first DNP of the season, with the likes of Bobby Portis and Lauri Markkanen soaking in most of his minutes in the frontcourt. Parker’s split from Boylen’s rotation was followed by news of the franchise dangling him on the trade market and speaking to interested suitors around the league.

Boylen praised Parker’s professionalism, first at dealing with his reduced role and then the consequent trade rumors that followed.

“It’s not easy,” Boylen told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. “I’ve been direct and honest with him about what I expect and what I hope he can continue to work on.”

Parker was in and out of the starting lineup to start the season, but he was consistently getting big minutes either way. Now, he’s going from the 30-plus minutes he got on a nightly basis from former coach Fred Hoiberg to 19, four, and none in the past three games under Boylen.

The Chicago native is aware of his situation, claiming there’s no other choice but to accept Boylen’s decision as a coach.

“It’s bigger than anything that I’m given. I only deal with Jim, and I just have to take his word for it and trust what he’s telling me,” Parker said. “I can have as many opinions as possible, but that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how I feel. It is what it is.

“I was given the expectation I was out of the lineup. Until somebody says otherwise, I’m still in that position.”

The Bulls are 2-4 since Boylen took over the helm, but have grabbed impressive wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder and most recently against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday. Moving Parker’s $20 million salary is high on the team’s priority list for now, as it’s unlikely that Boylen will have a change of mind in the near future.