Duke star forward Jabari Parker figured to jostle with Kansas' Andrew Wiggins for the right to be chosen atop the 2014 NBA draft. Although he didn't go off the board first, Parker arguably entered a better situation in being drafted No. 2 overall by the Milwaukee Bucks.
WIth the No. 2 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks select Jabari Parker! pic.twitter.com/VkxFa3n7F0— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 26, 2014
Any suspense following the Cleveland Cavaliers' selection of Wiggins with the first pick was put to rest by Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry, per ESPN's Andy Katz:
Just spoke with Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry, who is here, and he confirmed Bucks will take either Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins.— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) June 26, 2014
Jeff Goodman of ESPN noted how happy the Bucks were when the Cavs passed on Wiggins:
The Bucks owners are about 10 feet from me -- and are both celebrating with high-fives that Jabari Parker is on board at No. 2.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) June 26, 2014
Wally Szczerbiak of CBS Sports Network feels Parker is the better player:
Parker was pumped to land in his desired destination, per the team's official Twitter account:
Parker: I'm really excited. To represent Chicago, Milwaukee and the whole Great Lakes region. It feels real good. #BucksDraft— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) June 26, 2014
Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com noted how interesting the mutual interest was between Parker and the Bucks:
Great point made by my man @jon_greenberg the other day: How great must MIL feel that Jabari Parker actually wants to play for the Bucks?— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 26, 2014
ESPN's J.A. Adande and Skip Bayless outlined the positives of Parker heading to Milwaukee:
Most NBA-ready skills in the draft. Gotta like the Bucks' chances of keeping Parker long-term, since he's only a 90-minute drive from home.— J.A. Adande (@jadande) June 26, 2014
Bucks got a solid NBA player in Jabari. Always plays hard. Knows how to play and score. Can shoot it with range. Must learn to defend.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 26, 2014
As Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports reported before the draft, Parker had a promise from Milwaukee that it would take him if he was still there:
Jabari Parker says he believes he will go No. 2 to Bucks and there is mutual interest. Says he he hasn't received similar vibe from Cavs.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 25, 2014
Jabari Parker says he's not opposed to going to Cavs, but said no commitment was made.Said Bucks told him they'd take him if he's there at 2— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 25, 2014
ESPN Stats & Info points out how Duke continues to produce exceptional NBA talent:
With regard to determining how Parker projects to the pros, ESPN's Numbers Never Lie provided a fascinating statistical launching point:
FR w/ 19+ PPG, 8+ RPG, 35% 3-pt FG pct in last 15 seasons: '14: Jabari Parker '08: Michael Beasley '07: Kevin Durant ...ALL drafted No.2— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) June 26, 2014
Chad Ford of ESPN outlined the plans the Bucks have for Parker with regard to how he'll fit into the current roster:
The Bucks plan on playing Jabari Parker at the 4 and Giannis Antetokounmpo at the 3 source said. What both Bucks & Jabari wanted all along— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 26, 2014
Parker was considered the more pro-ready prospect overall over Wiggins. The fit with the Bucks is intriguing, because Parker brings some much-needed scoring to the fold. Although he is capable of taking over the 3 position, he can flex to the 4 thanks to his 6'8" frame.
Should Ford's information be correct, on paper the Bucks are suddenly formidable. A lineup featuring Parker at power forward, Larry Sanders clogging the paint, freakish athlete Giannis Antetokounmpo at the 3 and a backcourt with O.J. Mayo and Brandon Knight, Milwaukee has some serious firepower. The pieces are in place for the Bucks to improve quickly in a weak Eastern Conference.
This marriage between Parker and the Bucks brings some serious excitement to Milwaukee. The decision made by the Cavs to go with Wiggins may turn out to be beneficial, but Parker's polish coming out of college may see Cleveland regret passing on him.