NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Duke SF Jabari Parker
|05.20.14 at 9:00 am ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their two selections in the first round.
Position: Small forward
Weight: 240 pounds
Key 2013-14 stats: 19.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 1.1 steals
Scouting report: Parker brings one of the most complete and NBA-ready skill sets to the draft. With close, mid and deep scoring proficiencies, Parker’s versatility will help him during his adjustment to the pro game.
If anything, Parker’s skills are better suited for the NBA than they were the college game. In college, the clogged lane didn’t allow for him to utilize his fantastic ball-handling abilities to drive from the wing to the basket. Instead, most of Parker’s at-basket opportunities came as a result of his ferociousness when attacking the offensive boards.
Like most 19-year-olds, the 6-foot-8 forward experienced his inconsistencies shooting the ball. But Parker’s ability to hit shots both off the dribble and spotting up will be valuable. Additionally, it’s his ability to hit off-balance shots that separate him from many of the other forwards, not just in the draft but also in the entire NBA.
Parker will have his issues as a man-to-man defender due to his average lateral quickness, but he is a solid team defender and has a knack for blocking shots from the weak side. There’s also a chance that Parker’s individual defense will improve once he shreds his baby fat and turns it into pure muscle, which could happen if he is drafted into the proper environment.
Parker arguably has the highest upside of any player in this draft because of his scoring prowess. He also seems like a high character individual and a potential leader. This added personality bonus is only the cherry on top for a player who has all the physical tools to be an All-Star caliber player.
How he fits: Go-to scorers are hard to come by, and Parker could possibly fill that void. He has inside and outside scoring potential, and the perfect attitude for the job. If the Celtics are fortunate enough to have their choice, Parker might be their man.
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Sports Illustrated: Jabari Parker writes about decision to leave Duke
Video: Here is a video of Parker’s amazing life story.
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