The more that comes out about the 2018-19 Los Angeles Lakers season, the more obvious it becomes that it was doomed from the start.
This time, there is a report the Lakers had a deal in place for Jabari Parker with the Chicago Bulls.
Parker was drafted with the No. 2 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and signed with the Bulls after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to match his offer sheet. When the Bulls brought in Jim Boylen as their new head coach, it became clear Parker had to go as the former despised the latter’s lack of effort.
The Lakers were desperate for reinforcements and almost traded Michael Beasley and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope before the Anthony Davis trade saga became public and the Bulls moved on, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic:
The need for reinforcements was glaring, and on the weekend of Jan. 25, the Lakers had a tentative deal in place to acquire Bulls forward Jabari Parker in exchange for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Beasley, league sources told The Athletic. However, Caldwell-Pope — another Rich Paul client — had to approve any trade and had not signed off on the deal. The Bulls awaited Caldwell-Pope’s approval over that weekend, sources said.
The Bulls ended up trading Parker along with Bobby Portis to the Washington Wizards for Otto Porter Jr. It was known during the trade deadline the Lakers had interest in Parker, but it never seemed that serious.
It’s likely for the best, though. Parker’s complete lack of defensive effort would have been terrible for the Lakers and a move they would’ve regretted instantly. Caldwell-Pope, while not the best player, is an effort-driven player who has played a key role for the Lakers at times over the last two seasons.
Trading for Parker would have been another in a long line of bad moves the Lakers front office has made since getting LeBron James, so it’s likely for the best this one didn’t go through.