From Chad Ford's chat today on the NBA draft, when asked if Joel Embiid and Jabari Parker will declare for the draft:
Both are weighing their options. Both are seriously considering returning ... with Parker so much so that several scouts are claiming he's coming back to school. But I think that's premature. They have time. The deadline is April 27th to decide. However, if they declare after April 15th, there's no turning back. They'll lose their college eligibility. Parker is really NBA ready. He could obviously improve if he stayed, but he's a NBA starter from Day One. He'll get minutes and playing against the best competition is the best way to improve. The only good reason for him to stay is because he loves college, wants to lead Duke to a NCAA Championship and is OK just waiting.
My first thought reading this:
My second thought: Hey Mike, calm down, anonymous NBA scouts have "said" a lot of things in a lot of articles..and they're wrong a vast majority of the time.
Parker would still be turning down tens of millions of guaranteed NBA dollars and risking serious injury, and while he could take out an insurance claim, that wouldn't recoup all of the money lost should he suffer a Shaun Livingston/Robert Edwards (former Patriots running back) type knee injury. And turning down that type of coin is really, really hard. That's why sure fire top-three picks rarely do it.
Granted, Parker does not fit the mold of many top picks. He comes from a financially stable family, is a really smart kid, and his values may be a little different than other guys in a similar position. So while I'm hopeful, this report is absolutely getting the nerves going.
Parker is really important in this draft class as he's the best scorer, and part of a really nice top-three with Wiggins and Embiid (I know Embiid is also mentioned in this article, but c'mon, Woj reported he's coming out. Do you really not believe Woj?). Without him that top-three becomes a top-two, and lesser players all move up a spot. The depth of the draft class would still be fantastic, but the top layer would get thinner, and it's already a class that many are doubting in terms of future stars.
And it's not like Parker really needs the seasoning. As Ford mentioned, this isn't a situation where much would be gained by him returning to Duke for another season. He's going to step right into a starting spot and it's hard to imagine him not averaging 15-18 PPG from the get go in the NBA next year. This isn't some raw talent that will improve by leaps and bounds should he play a second year in college, not by a long shot.
So let's hope that Parker is just taking his time before hiring an agent and declaring. We need you Jabari.
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