1 - Jabari Parker


  • Birthday: 3/15/95
  • NBA Position: SF/PF
  • Class: Freshman
  • Ht: 6-9
  • Wt: 240
  • Hometown: Chicago, IL
  • High School: Simeon
  • Team Site Profile
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NBA Comparison: Carmelo Anthony

Strengths: Parker is on another level from his peers, skill wise ... Very strong, bulky forward with elite level face up game for his age ... An underrated athlete; Parker plays a smooth, if not overpowering brand of ball, and is more likely to muscle through opponents than blow by them ... Possesses very good hands ... Shows the ability to grasp nuances of the game ... Has a passion for basketball, and this comes out in his play ... A la Paul Pierce, is especially good at step back jumper, and can do it in both directions ... Creates a ton of separation with his step back ... Can go to work in the post, especially against smaller and weaker defenders ... Will likely be developed as a small forward in the NBA, where he will immediately become one of the largest and strongest at this position ... Work ethic is phenomenal ... Really wants to be a leader; wants to be great ... Even in high school, practiced with the focus of a pro ... Has been a winner every step of the way of his career; won four straight Illinois State Titles in high school ... Can create for teammates thanks to his high basketball IQ and overall play making ability ... Commands so much attention from opposing defenses that teammates will find themselves with more opportunities to receive the ball in a position to score with him on the floor ... Can finish with both hands around the hoop ... Solid, but not great ability to knock down the NBA 3-ball ... Had some impressive dunks in his freshman season at Duke, which proved that he does possess the hops and explosiveness that he often does not get credit for ... Also showed surprising body control and ball handling, weaving through defenders for finishes at the rim in the open floor ...

Weaknesses: Defense and position are the two biggest questions with Parker ... Some wonder whether he is quick enough to guard on the perimeter, or if he is long enough to defend the post ... Has been given the "tweener" label that no draft prospect wants associated with his name ... Appears to carry some extra "baby fat" ... Somewhat slow release on the jumper, and it has a hitch; may need to tweak release to improve scoring opportunities against athletic defenders who match his size ... Can he expand his range to be a reliable 3-point shooter? ... Was asked to play in the post defensively for Duke, which may lead to an even bigger learning curve for Parker as he improves his understanding of how to guard wings in the NBA ... Not a particularly crafty defender; surprising given how intelligent an offensive player he is ...

Notes: A Mormon, and has not yet done a Mormon mission ... Had considered delaying his college career to do the mission, but obviously opted to play ball ... Some conspiracy theorists wonder if he gets drafted by a team that he does not want to play for, whether he threatens to hold out on signing a contract and instead go on a mission. But this is definitely more speculative than a likely scenario at this point ... Did not participate in the 2014 Draft Combine, given that he is already a consensus top 3 pick ... Is an elite talent, and has been considered as such since his early high-school days ... USBWA National Freshman of the Year award winner for his stellar 2013-14 campaign as a Duke Blue Devil ... Had a successful freshman season at Duke, although the team disappointed in the NCAA Tournament, losing to 14 seed Mercer in the first round ...

Drew Wolin 6/14/14

Strengths: First and foremost, Parker is already a good physical specimen for either forward position, and has just about all of the size he’ll need to be an NBA wing at nearly 6’9 240 … Plays strong, and has more than adequate length … Very fluid with good athleticism, showing exceptional body control and pretty good speed and leaping ability … More explosive than he appears at 1st glance … Lived up to his lofty expectations after a highly touted HS career … Already has a great arsenal of moves in his repertoire on offense … Has an NBA ready step back jumper and is tough for most matchups to pressure as a ball-handler … Is a threat to slash in either direction … Is able to shoot or drive effectively from the triple threat … Puts the ball on the floor, can score with his feet set, and shows good confidence as a scorer … Mid-range game is pretty polished … Great 1st step, and when operating facing the basket this is where the Carmelo Anthony comparisons are most evident … Not overly aggressive, and generally plays well off his instincts … Has shown the ability to pull down a defensive rebound and go coast to coast for either a finish at the rim or go to the line … Good finisher, and has the ability to finish above the rim with power around trees … Does a good job drawing contact, and is not at all prone to shying away from physical play … Is a long strider, and can change directions well for his size as a ball-handler … Looks like he has the necessary tools to develop into a primary scorer at the next level, and the mentality to handle that responsibility … Has some natural shot-making ability that all of the high level NBA scorers possess, and has shown he can really light up the scoreboard in bunches … Has a nice post game for a guy that is being projected to be primarily a wing player … Has good footwork and already understands how to get a wide base to take advantage of smaller defenders … Quick feet, and gets angles on defenses when operating around the hoop … His turnaround jumper is strong … Makes an impact on the glass, and was a terrific offensive rebounder last season at Duke … Aware of his surroundings, and doesn’t get caught falling asleep much when shots goes up on either end … Pretty smart, and can make plays on both ends by using his physical tools and his instincts … Makes timely steals and blocks, and is always to be accounted for on offense because of his ability to make intriguing momentum-shifting plays … Can’t really be considered a selfish player, does look to get teammates involved when he draws extra attention … Seems to be by all accounts a high character person, and a very focused competitor who has strong leadership potential … Comes off a guy who likes to lead by example, but is fairly vocal too even when he isn’t having his best game … His ability to contribute at the level he did on a talented roster and elite level program like Duke as a true Fr. is definitely extremely encouraging, and he won’t turn 20 until late in his rookie season … Has the ability to play some PF too, and his versatility as a scorer with his size makes him a big mismatch at the next level … Plenty of ability to get better, a scary proposition for a guy with his skills ...

Weaknesses: Defense is the area of his game that has drawn the greatest amount of criticism. Does not exhibit the same level of intensity and effort on that end, and how much of that was due to playing center or staying out of foul trouble is open to debate ... Given his size, there are some concerns about him being in between the SF and PF positions at the next level … Also, will need to find a weight that will allow him to maximize his athleticism … Not really a defined or “tight-skinned” specimen physically, and probably carried slightly more weight than he should’ve last season … Appears to be a guy that will always have to work a little harder to keep his weight in check, and his body toned. And any extended injuries could cause him more trouble weight wise than the average prospect. But he seems up to the task ... Not a sharp team defender yet, and still needs to improve his knowledge of where to be on this side of the ball … Makes fundamental errors, and can look lost when defending the pick and roll game, and was at times exposed for this against quality opponents who spaced the floor on offense last season ... Needs to work on improving his lateral speed and defensive technique … Effort overall on defense needs improvement as well … Sometimes settles for more difficult looks than he should, and doesn’t always look to get to the rim as much as he should … Can make tough shots, but does shoot more contested jumpers than he has to … Sometimes tries to be too aggressive, especially when his team was trailing … Not quite an overly explosive athlete, and can struggle at times to finish above taller defenders when he can’t get a clean drive past the initial defense … Has high level talent, but needs to polish his skills and do a better job with his shot selection to really reach his potential as a player ...

Overall: Parker is considered by most as a wing prospect but may actually project even stronger as a stretch 4 ... Parker had an outstanding Freshman season at Duke, and really has some of the best skills of any prospect in this draft … He is a fantastic talent on the offensive side of the ball with the kind of mentality needed to be a franchise player at the next level … Has the potentially to be a more well rounded Melo and without any of the negative selfishness or lack of team focus that Melo has long been criiticized for ... His game and leadership should allow him to make an impact at the next level the second he takes the floor, and he already has the physical tools of an NBA player despite his youth … Seems like the type of person and competitor that any organization would want, and is extremely mature by all accounts … Can play either forward position effectively, and will be a tough matchup on a nightly basis at the next level … He will need to improve his defensive skills and his overall awareness, but he has strong instincts and the smarts to continue to improve … Parker is a virtual lock to be a top 3 selection in the 2014 NBA Draft ...

Jorrye Nixon 5/28/14

Strengths: Ultra-skilled forward with an innate, natural ability to play basketball ... Remarkably advanced basketball IQ for a player his age ... Already possesses many of the intangible qualities that NBA teams covet ... Strong competitor that plays hard on both ends of the floor. Rarely fails to "show up" for games ... Moves around the court well with or without the ball ... Good overall shot-selection ... Hard worker, who appears to respect the game ... Has good size for a small forward (measured recently at 6'8.5" in shoes), and still has some time to grow ... Appears to have a wingspan of 7'0" or close to it ... He makes up for his lack of elite athleticism by being an aggressive athlete that takes advantage of any opportunities the defense gives to him ... Has shown the ability to rise up and emphatically dunk over the top of the defense ... Footspeed is fairly average, but he’s still a very fluid runner, particularly in the open court ... Knows how to take advantage of "sleeping" defenders, showing great activity off the ball with an understanding of back-cuts and spotting-up from the corner ... Is a pure shooter that displays a soft touch out to the NBA three-point line ... Has the size, touch and footwork to become a very capable player in the post, which would make him a big-time mismatch threat from the wing position ... Capable in the mid-range with a rapidly improving pull-up jumper that is already extremely difficult to defend ... Dangerous when taking players off the dribble ... Uses hesitations, fakes and crossovers to throw his defender off balance ... Combines a refined offensive awareness with an unselfish nature to always find his teammates when they are open ... Solid defender that works hard to bother his man ... Has the length and instincts to make an impact on the glass as well ... High-character player and a member of the LDS church ... Still very young and has a lot of room to improve ... Likely the top high school player in the country and has superstar potential ...

Weaknesses: While Parker is a good all-around athlete, he won't be much of a stand-out as far as the NBA is concerned ... His first-step lacks the explosion of some of the other elite-level prospects he's often compared to, and he won't be labeled by many as a "high flyer" either ... If he works hard on his strength and conditioning, he should be able to maximize his potential athletically as he grows into his height, but even for a player with a reputation like Parker, this is still an “if” ... Parker's outside shot can be inconsistent, though at only 16 years of age, this is a common issue, and can be rectified with practice and experience ... He's drawn comparisons to players like Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony, and those kinds of expectations can weigh heavily on younger players ...

Overall: Jabari Parker is an extremely intriguing NBA prospect ... He displays a rare versatility and polish for a player as young as he is along with the potential to get a lot better with time ... While it is awfully early to start making predictions on the 2014 draft, Parker (if eligible) is my favorite for the first overall pick ...

Tyler Ingle 10/1/11

Parker is a coach’s dream. He is highly skilled and coachable. He is the son of former Chicago legend and NBA player Sonny Parker. Over the last year or so, he has lost weight and gotten himself into superior condition and it has paid off in a big way. He has added explosion to his already refined skill package and has become a better defender due to his increased lateral quickness. There isn’t anything on the basketball court that he cannot do. He is considered by many, including myself to be best player in America and he is only a junior. Parker can play the 1 through the 4 and may be able to play some 5 at the high school level in spurts. The sky is the limit for this young man. As good of a basketball player he is, he may be a better person. Traits like that are hard to find in this social media society we now live in. He already holds offers from Kansas, Duke, Illinois, Washington, and Michigan St. Wherever he ends up he will make an impact from day 1.

Ian Powers 6/25/11

Notes: Measured 6'8.5 (in shoes) 222 lbs, with a 6'11 wingspan at the 2011 LeBron James Skills Academy ... Measured 6'8 (in shoes) 241 lbs, with a 7'0 wingspan and 8'8 reach at the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit ... Measured 6'8.5 (in shoes) 240 lbs, with a 6'11.5 wingspan at the 2013 Kevin Durant Skills Academy

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