Jabari Parker was apparently close to becoming a Laker.
Los Angeles had a “tentative deal in place” to acquire the 24-year-old forward from the Bulls in late January in exchange for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Beasley, according to a report from The Athletic, which cites unidentified league sources.
The trade, however, fell apart because Caldwell-Pope, who needed to approve any move, waited to sign off on the deal. The Lakers then turned their attention to Anthony Davis once he requested the Pelicans trade him.
Parker was eventually sent to the Wizards while the Lakers landed Reggie Bullock from the Pistons.
Parker has averaged 15 points and 7.2 rebounds while shooting 52.3 percent from the field in 25 games with the Wizards. He said in late March he has enjoyed his time in Washington.
“It’s been playing (out) really good so far,” Parker told NBA.com. “I love being here, I love just the people around here. Just professionals, they treat you like an adult. They hold you accountable, and if you’re not doing it, you get rewarded or you don’t.
“(Wizards coach Scott Brooks) has done a good job of implementing me, and I’m proud of that because I do more than just one thing, and it just feels good to get in those positions.”
Brooks also praised Parker.
“I don’t think he’s reached the level he’s going to continue to get to,” Brooks said. “He’s been nothing but a great worker here. I don’t look at him as a ‘three’ or ‘four’ or ‘five,’ he’s a point player. He can play just about any position on the floor.”
The Wizards and Lakers will both miss the playoffs this season. Bullock has struggled since he joined Los Angeles as he’s tallied just 9.3 points per game and shot 34.3 percent from 3-point range in 19 appearances.
Bullock and Parker are both expected to become free agents after 2018-19.