With Parker on board, Hoiberg thinks Bulls can play faster

  • Jabari Parker's father Sonny, a retired NBA player with the Golden State Warriors, believes his son Jabari has the right kind of swagger to be successful in the NBA.

    Jabari Parker's father Sonny, a retired NBA player with the Golden State Warriors, believes his son Jabari has the right kind of swagger to be successful in the NBA. Associated Press

Updated 7/18/2018 4:57 PM

A few minutes after the Bulls officially added Jabari Parker to their group of rebuilding blocks, coach Fred Hoiberg had an idea of how he thinks this team should play.

"We're going to want to play fast," Hoiberg said Wednesday at the United Center. "I think we've got the makeup to be able to do that."


Hoiberg said the starting lineup isn't set in stone and he's looking forward to a competitive training camp. But barring an injury, an opening-night lineup of Parker, Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Robin Lopez seems a good bet.

"We do want to play fast and we think we'll be able to do that," Hoiberg said. "Jabari playing multiple positions, whether he's the rim-runner or the wing-runner, we should be able to throw ahead and attack.

"That's going to be a huge emphasis for us, going into training camp, is getting the ball up the floor in a hurry.

"We're going to have to do that. I think that's the way this team will be successful."

Blakeney set for promotion:

There was some discussion Wednesday about the remaining spots on the Bulls roster. Jabari Parker's signing gave the Bulls 13 players under contract.

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The Bulls are expected to add shooting guard Antonio Blakeney to the NBA roster this season, after he averaged 30 points and was named G-League rookie of the year for the Windy City Bulls. The team hopes to bring back point guard Ryan Arcidiacono on a two-way contract, even though they rescinded his qualifying offer this week to open some cap space.

A team source said the door remains open on re-signing free agent David Nwaba, though that will depend on whether he gets a decent offer from another team. The Bulls, with an abundance of big men, do not have interest in Chicago native Jahlil Okafor.

Talking defense:

Coach Fred Hoiberg briefly touched on the defensive outlook of his new lineup. Jabari Parker and Zach LaVine have never been touted for their defensive prowess.

"We were able to experiment with pretty much a whole new system these last couple of weeks in minicamp and while we were in Vegas, and there were some things we really liked with what we did, as far as the trends in the league and the switching defenses and different ways teams are playing," Hoiberg said.


"Jabari and Zach will both fit in very well with that system. They're both very athletic, they both have great feet. And we should be able, in my opinion, to take a step forward with our defense."

Parker under pressure:

Jabari Parker has been in the spotlight even before his teenage years. He was featured in Sports Illustrated and called the best high-school prospect since LeBron James. The second game of his Duke career was against Kansas at the United Center in 2013.

Duke lost that night, but Parker scored 27 points in a contest that featured the top three picks of the 2014 draft -- Andrew Wiggins, Parker and Joel Embiid.

"He's got DNA, that's all I can tell you," said his dad Sonny Parker, who spent six seasons with the Golden State Warriors from 1976-82. "You guys are going to see it. He's got a different kind of swagger, a different kind of toughness. But it's not bragging if you can back it up. You know his middle name is Ali. I named him after Muhammad Ali."


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