Jabari Parker Is Exactly What Milwaukee Bucks Need to Turn Franchise Around

Kenny DeJohn@@kennydejohnAnalyst IIIJune 21, 2014

Duke forward Jabari Parker (1) works against Mercer forward Jakob Gollon (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball second-round game, Friday, March 21, 2014, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Every team in the NBA could use the exploits of forward Jabari Parker, but only one franchise will get the chance of featuring him on its roster after the 2014 NBA draft.

The Milwaukee Bucks pick second in the draft, and they desperately need to add Parker to their lineup. It's hard for Milwaukee to do wrong at No. 2, but the overall best move is to take the Duke product.

At 6'8" and 235 pounds, Parker offers great size and physicality from the small forward position. While he has been criticized for not always being in the greatest shape, Parker can use his extra size to body smaller, less physical small forwards. On the rare occasion Parker plays power forward, he can use his quickness to blow past slower defenders.

He's by far the most NBA-ready scorer (and maybe overall player) in the draft. That's why he's so perfect for Milwaukee.

The Bucks have toiled in mediocrity since the 2001-02 season. They were 41-41 that season but followed that up with nine losing seasons in 10 years. The only outlier was a 46-36 showing in 2009-10.

Last season was the worst of the bunch. Milwaukee won just 15 games and found itself with the No. 2 overall pick. There's hope, though. The Bucks won't go from 15 wins to the playoffs next season, but they can reach the 30-win mark by taking Parker.

Fans of the Bucks are fed up with this team. After so much losing this past decade-plus, the last thing they want to do is wait. The franchise shouldn't want them to wait, either. By taking Andrew Wiggins, the Bucks will make them wait.

Sure, Wiggins is an exciting young prospect with a high ceiling and the potential to excite from day one, but the excitement will only come in flashes. He's a streaky scorer that still tries to rely too much on athleticism. That will lead to even more frustration.

After 19-plus points and eight-plus rebounds per game in one season at Duke, Parker displayed the chops necessary to succeed right now.

The comparisons he has drawn seem to allude to the same thing. One Eastern Conference scout gave him a rave review, via Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe:

In terms of a basketball player and a human being, I think it’s all first class. I think he gets on the court next year and averages between 14-17 points per game, 2-4 assists, 6-8 rebounds. I see this Carmelo Anthony/Grant Hill hybrid.

I don’t think you go wrong with him. I think there’s very little risk, for sure.

Of course, Anthony took the league by storm in his rookie year. He dropped 21.0 points per game on 42.6 percent shooting.

That's what Parker can bring to the table right now.

The thought of pairing Parker with Giannis Antetokounmpo must also be in the back of general manager John Hammond's mind. Antetokounmpo displayed great promise last season, as his pure athleticism and knack for making quick plays in transition made him a bit of a household name.

That said, Antetokounmpo isn't someone who can be the face of a franchise like Parker can. People have known Parker's name since he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in high school. He's the player who can excite a fanbase and renew interest in this franchise.

The opportunities for success—both on and off the court—for the Bucks by taking Parker are endless. This needs to happen at No. 2. Any other selection will be a mistake.