Duke v Mercer

Duke’s Jabari Parker says he will enter NBA Draft


This was expected, even after Duke’s early and unceremonious exit from the NCAA Tournament and despite all the rumors to the contrary.

Duke’s Jabari Parker will declare for the NBA draft, he said in an article he wrote for Sports Illustrated.

Ultimately, I boiled my decision down to two simple questions:

Which environment — college or the NBA — offers me the best opportunity to grow as a basketball player?

Which environment — college or the NBA — offers me the best opportunity to grow and develop off the court?

The answer to both questions is undeniably the NBA.

He also writes that the other key factor was that another year in college shrinks his earning potential as a professional. For the guys at the top of the draft this is key — they are very likely to get big second contracts (and beyond) and if they get to them a year earlier they can earn more over the course of their career.

Parker spends the first part of the article talking about all the reasons it was hard for him to leave Duke, and he said he plans to graduate from the school while in the NBA.

Lately I haven’t slept much. Although my dream is to play in the NBA, I’ve gotten pretty attached to life at Duke and I don’t want to utter the word goodbye.

This is the right move for Parker, for the reasons he outlined above. It’s a business for him now.

Parker, 6’8” and can plan the three or four in the NBA, is likely a top three pick. He’s as high as No. 1 on some scout’s boards and there is no way he falls past No. 4. Most teams seem to have the Kansas duo of Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins higher, but we’ll see how the lottery shakes out the draft order before making predictions.

He’s also the freshman best poised to make an impact as a rookie — his offensive game is NBA ready and he can put up points in the league, PBT’s draft expert Ed Isaacson of NBADraftBlog.com and Rotoworld said.

“A highly skilled scorer for a freshman. He is comfortable in the post and on the perimeter, can attack of the dribble, and can the run the floor as well as most guards,” Isaacson told PBT. “As good as he is on offense, his defensive lapses can be that bad. Needs to learn a lot of the defensive basics, but still finds a way to be a good rebounder.”

We saw those defensive lapses when Duke lost to Mercer in the first round and Mike Krzyzewski had to bench Parker to get defense on the court.

But teams think they can work on and improve his defense. You can’t teach what he does on offense.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.