Although Duke Blue Devils’ forward Jabari Parker referred to his career as “incomplete” and has a close friend, the top overall recruit in the class of 2014, 6-10, 265-pound center Jahlil Okafor, making his way to Duke in the fall, most analysts still expect Parker to declare for the draft.
Obviously, Duke losing to the Mercer Bears, a 14-seed, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament was highly disappointing, but Parker will likely go no later than third, according to Sean Highkin of The USA Today.
Parker may not be the No. 1 overall pick, but he may not have been anyway. For most of the season, it’s been a three-man race between him and Kansas freshmen Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid. There’s no clear frontrunner and there probably won’t be by June. Who goes first will depend on which NBA team gets the top pick and who their front office likes best. It’s still a toss-up.
It is almost impossible to picture Parker sliding out of the top three. And if he gets picked third, he’ll be slated to earn upwards of $4 million in his rookie season. If he stays another year, he may dominate and become the clear No. 1 option in the 2015 draft, but he may also slide and cost himself millions.
Parker averaged 19.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 1.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game.