Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, or Andrew Wiggins
For basically the whole year Parker or Embiid have been projected to go ahead of Wiggins. Clearly I am not a NBA GM, but if i had the first pick of the draft i would have to go Wiggins. Before you start telling me why I'm wrong hear out these points.
1st- Wiggins is far superior than Parker in all facets of athleticism. Wiggins plays better defense, Wiggins has an improving jumper, and Wiggins has a higher ceiling than Parker.
2nd- If you ask me right now, Embiid has to go 3rd because of his back concerns. I think Embiid has to declare, but another year in college would help scouts know how bad his back is.
3rd- Wiggins has been compared to Carmelo Anthony who is a great scorer, but has never won anything because he doesn't play defense. In this day and age of the NBA defense is very important. Wiggins can guard anyone on the court, and Parker is "lazy" on defense.
So if I am a GM the order to me would have to Wiggins, Parker/Exum/Embiid. Wiggins has to be first pick.
I think you underrate Parker's defense. He's not great by any means, but he's not going to be terrible either. Anthony is not a bad defender in his own right either, he's just not great. I agree that Wiggins should go #1 though. He needs to keep trying harder though to make sure that he reaches his potential. Embiid kinda scares me as a top 3 pick. He's going to be good but big men take years to develop, and what if his injuries are more serious than people thought? Why not take Exum at 3? He's got all the potential in the world and is already a good player. I think after Parker and Wiggins, its going to be tough to chose from 3-8.
It is clearly debatable between Parker and Wiggins. I personally prefer Parker because I like his demeanor and his offensive talent is as good as it gets. Parker is not as bad of a defender as people think he is, although he is not as good as Wiggins obviously. Wiggins' on court demeanor is a red flag, half the time he is there and half of the time he is not. I would undoubtedly take Parker #1, but I guess if a team wants to take a risk and take Wiggins more power to them. Wiggins is a great athlete, but I just feel Parker has the potential to be a bigger difference maker than Wiggins. Embiid IMO is pretty close to being out of the running for the #1 pick due to his injury (and most of the top lotto teams have a respectable center).
I want to be on the Parker bandwagon as bad as anyone, but the truth is, he worries me. I just don't see many scenarios where your best offensive player is your worst starting defensive player and you have a great team. If Parker is not the worst defender on your starting five, you will have a hard time putting a defense out there to make up for his offense.
On the other side, Wiggins has plenty of potential on offense given his quickness and athleticism although he probably won't reach Parker's level. The plus is that Wiggins seems to at very least have the potential to be an elite defender and finisher who can get to the rim with ease and hit an open shot. That seems like the type of player who any team would love.
As a Mormon and a Jazz fan I want Parker to be the answer, but on a team like the Jazz, I just don't know how we create a formidable defense with him at the three.
What do you think, is there a way for that to work in Utah?