Thursday afternoon, Duke Blue Devils freshman Jabari Parker officially declared for the 2014 NBA Draft through an interview with Sports Illustrated, meaning that the speculation can now begin as to whether or not he should be the top pick at the June event.
Right now, much of the talk surrounds he and the two Kansas freshmen, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, as the favorites to be the first player taken in the lottery.
While it’s hard to judge how a player will ultimately pan out in the professional ranks, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman points out that Parker may be the “safest” bet out of the three.
Jabari Parker is the safest pick out of the three guys (Wiggins and Embiid). I think he’ll be a 18 & 8 guy in the NBA for a decade.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 17, 2014
Overall, this statement is pretty much correct.
Wiggins obviously has enormous amounts of potential, but there’s no telling how how it will take him to develop that potential, if ever fully.
Embiid, as you could see from this past season, has obvious back health concerns, which are never good for a big man.
Parker, on the other hand, seems to bring the entire package to the table right now. Scoring, rebounding, defense–you name it, he probably has the most potential to bring that out for some lottery team early on in 2014.