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Bulls' Parker not playing blame game, but wants to play

While refusing to point the finger for his situation with the Chicago Bulls, Jabari Parker won't do one other thing.

Blame himself.

"I kept my end of the bargain," Parker told K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune.

The forward has not played in the last seven games for the Bulls and has rarely gotten off the bench at all since Jim Boylen replaced Fred Hoiberg as coach earlier this month.

Parker started the first 17 games of the season before Hoiberg moved him to a role coming off then bench. Boylen, who stresses defense and discipline, was not pleased with Parker's effort on defense and removed him from his rotation.

Having signed a two-year, $40 million contract to return to his hometown last summer, Parker finds himself waiting to see if a deal is consummated before the NBA's Feb. 7 trade deadline.

“I don’t think it’s Jim’s fault,” Parker said. “It’s bigger than Jim. I think it’s the overall organization and the direction they’re going. I’ve done everything that’s been asked of me. I didn’t complain. I never had an argument or confrontation with anybody. I’ve done what I do.”

Parker, 23, the second overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, is averaging 15.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 30.1 minutes in 29 games this season. He is shooting 45.3 percent from the field, 29.3 percent from beyond the 3-point arc and 72.4 percent from the free-throw line.

“I give another threat on offense that can help the team,” Parker said. “I’m a willing passer. And I rebound. It’s not just transition defense. Nobody is perfect in transition.”

Parker insists he not only wants to play, but remains ready to do so, if given the opportunity.

“Honestly, I just want to play,” he said. “I’ve stayed ready. I want to play meaningful minutes — not 4 minutes and nothing for the rest of the game. I just have to wait for that chance and opportunity. There’s a bigger picture here, so I’m staying prepared and patient.”