Duke’s Jabari Parker is going to be a high pick in the NBA Draft. Often compared to Carmelo Anthony because of the variety of ways he can score (although that may be high praise for Parker’s potential) Parker is third on most team’s draft boards (behind an assumed healthy Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins).
But Parker says he is still debating coming back for his sophomore season at Duke, he told ESPN.
Parker and the other Wooden Award finalists were making the media rounds Friday and of course Parker was asked about his plans on ESPN’s Los Angeles radio station.
“It’s a very tough decision, especially leaving behind my coach and all the people who are behind the program that really helped me out this year,” said Parker. “I really have to keep them in consideration. The whole process, it’s very mind-boggling….
“It’s more than just next year,” he said. “It’s going to be my career from there and how happy I’ll be in life.”
In other interviews he went on to say about how he planned to speak to coach Mike Krzyzewski and that he plans to announce his decision the middle of next week.
I’d be surprised if he stayed.
I have no doubt he loves Duke, I have no doubt his game will be more mature in a year (although he has a long way to go on defense, as was highlighted in the NCAA Tournament). But the simple fact is he will develop faster in the NBA and he will get paid to do it — his offensive game is NBA ready right now.
If you are projected as a late first rounder that is one thing (second round picks don’t get guaranteed contracts), but if you are a lottery pick your decision to come out is very different. And Parker is a top five pick on every board in the land.