New York Knicks: Pros and cons of potential trade for Jabari Parker

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bulls Jabari Parker San Antonio Spurs DeMar DeRozan (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls Jabari Parker San Antonio Spurs DeMar DeRozan (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Con: A defensive liability

Jabari Parker entered the NBA with a scoring touch. While not a strong outside shooter, he still had averages of over 48.0 percent from the field in each of his first four seasons. With the Bulls, he shot 45.5 percent. So, there was never an issue with finding points, despite a career-low 95.6 offensive rating in 2018-19.

Everywhere else, though, presented problems for Parker’s all-around game. That included defense, which remained absent in his fifth NBA run and topped 110.0 for the fourth straight year.

Parker had a negative net rating for Chicago, due to his offensive and defensive ratings, the latter of which topped out at 110.1. That represents low impact at both ends of the court.

Past comments on defense did not help Parker’s image, either. After signing with the Bulls, on the Bernstein and McKnight Show on 670 The Score (h/t SB Nation), the 23-year-old said, “They don’t pay players to play defense.”

"“Well, I don’t know I just stick to my strengths,” Parker said. “Look at everybody in the league. They don’t pay players to play defense. There’s only two players, historically, who play defense. I’m not gonna say that I won’t, but to say that’s a weakness is like saying that’s everybody’s weakness. I’ve scored 30s and 20s off of guys who say they try to play defense.”"

Parker added that it’s about limiting a player as much as possible, but, again, he said, “They pay people to score the ball.”

Couple that with a -1.76 defensive real plus-minus, which ranks 422nd out of 457 players, and it paints a picture of someone hardly defensively savvy, if at all.

On a New York Knicks roster that already has defensive questions, do they need another player that can’t hold his own? Even for a team that will miss the playoffs, it’s not exactly a high-upside play if the organization wants signs of development.