As expected, Duke freshman Jabari Parker has decided to make the jump to the NBA. Blue Devils star Jabari Parker will enter the 2014 NBA Draft and is the odds-on favorite to go first overall. Some thought his stock would dip after not producing to the level of hype in his lone season at Duke,but playing out of position likely had something to do with those numbers. Parker should prove to be an effective swingman at the next level, if not the franchise-changing centerpiece that some have pegged him as.
Jabari Parker was seen as a one-and-done college player going back to his recruitment in high school, but a disappointing end to the 2014 Duke season seemed to cast some doubt on whether Parker would make the jump. Parker added to the speculation immediately following the loss to Mercer by saying that he was unsure of his future plans. In the end, the opportunities presented by the NBA outweighed the desire to atone for a mediocre 2014 season by the Blue Devils.
Jabari Parker finished the 2014 season averaging 19.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg and just over one of each in the blocks, steals and assists categories each game. While those numbers are impressive, Parker wasn't able to carry his team deep into the NCAA Tournament, nor could he deliver an ACC title.
Jabari Parker did provide some magical moments but doesn't have the ultra-high NBA ceiling of Andrew Wiggins or Joel Embiid. Parker is seen as the safe selection, a player who can help a team right away and projects as a consistent All Star. The top three seem likely to be slotted Parker-Embiid-Wiggins. Despite questions about Embiid's back, big men are always overvalued on draft day.2014 NBA Draft, ACC, Andrew Wiggins, Duke, Duke Blue Devils, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, NCAA, NCAA Tournament