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Best-case scenario: Carmelo Anthony
Of all the prospects at the top of the 2014 draft class, Jabari Parker is best equipped to step in as a meaningful contributor immediately. His 6'8", 240-pound frame will help him not get pushed around by bigger, more physical bodies in the NBA, and there's no questioning his potential as an elite scorer.
Parker averaged 19.1 points on 47.3 percent shooting as a freshman at Duke, knocking home 38-of-106 three-point attempts too (35.8 percent). He started off his college career on fire, dropping 20-plus points in his first seven games and 10 of his first 12 before slightly cooling off once conference play began.
His proclivity for dominating in the post and being able to score from all over the court frequently draws comparisons to Carmelo Anthony, which makes perfect sense as a best-case scenario. Like Anthony, Parker is a strong rebounder for his position (whether he plays at the 3 or the 4) and should have little trouble averaging 20 points per game in the NBA.
The Duke freshman also possesses strong ball-handling skills for a player his size, and despite what his 1.2 assists per game might otherwise suggest, he's a willing passer. If he's a worse-shooting, better-passing version of Anthony, whichever team lands him on draft night will be more than pleased.
Worst-case scenario: Adam Morrison
Though Parker should have little trouble thriving offensively in the NBA, his defensive potential leaves much to be desired. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski benched him during portions of Duke's round of 64 loss against Mercer in the NCAA tournament due to his defensive limitations, which rubbed some pro scouts the wrong way, per ESPN.com's Chad Ford.
That puts his floor somewhere in the ballpark of Adam Morrison, another former elite scorer in college whose shortcomings on defense hindered his ability to earn significant floor time in the Association. Morrison wasn't anywhere near the rebounder Parker is—he averaged 5.1 boards over his three-year career at Gonzaga—but he was a much more lethal scorer and three-point shooter.
Like Morrison, Parker could find himself in the dreaded "tweener" zone—too slow to guard 3s and too small to defend 4s. Per Ford (subscription required), no power forward prospect has been successful in the NBA with a standing reach as small as Parker's (8'8"), with Blake Griffin (8'9") being the closest.
As the Houston Rockets are quickly realizing with James Harden, elite scoring ability alone doesn't make a player a franchise cornerstone. If Parker's struggles on defense carry over into the NBA, he could follow in Morrison's footsteps and become one of the larger draft busts in recent memory.