Parker was the top high school recruit until Wiggins moved up into the 2013 class. Wiggins then dragged out his recruiting beyond the date for college players to declare for the NBA draft, while Parker pretty quickly made the decision to go to Duke.
Even though scouts insist that Wiggins has more raw talent than Parker, the Blue Devils freshman walks into a better situation.
At Kansas, Wiggins will be the team’s best player right off the bat. While that will work in his favor in terms of raising his NBA profile, it’ll mean that opponents will focus their defenses on Wiggins. Getting the full force of a college defense’s attention will make Wiggins work extremely hard to put up points and lead the Jayhawks to wins.
Parker, meanwhile, doesn’t have to be Duke’s leading scorer (although, as I said earlier, he has the potential to be). Rasheed Sulaimon and Rodney Hood will score a lot of points for the Blue Devils. While Parker needs to score for Duke to be successful, he won’t feel the same kind of offensive pressure that Wiggins will.
Moreover, defenses won’t be able to single in on Parker. Duke has so many scoring options that opponents can’t simply clamp down on one player. Unlike Wiggins, Parker will have the opportunity to rack up rebounds and assists to go with his points as he takes whatever the defense gives him.
In both the game against Kansas that will be played in Parker’s hometown of Chicago and throughout the entire season, Parker will put up more impressive numbers than Wiggins.