The waiting game is officially over. Duke freshman phenom Jabari Parker has decided to declare for the NBA draft. The Chicago native set or tied Duke freshman records for points, rebounds, double-doubles, and 20-point games. Statistically, he had the best freshman season that Duke basketball has ever seen. We witnessed an amazing season from an 18-year-old kid this past year, and we should be very thankful for that. Despite the overall team’s struggles and disappointments, Jabari was the best player on the floor at all times and had some absolutely amazing performances throughout the year. He represented Duke University with honor and class and wore the Duke jersey with pride.
I personally cannot wait for him to make his mark in the NBA, he’ll be there for a long long time. As far as possible locations for Jabari to land, the Milwaukee Bucks hold the highest odds of getting the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft. The Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, Utah Jazz, followed by the LA Lakers hold the next highest odds of getting the No. 1 pick. So Jabari could potentially go to any of these six teams, depending on who gets lucky on May 20th when the official lottery order is revealed. From a personal perspective, I’d love to see him with the Lakers. They play more than their fair share of nationally broadcast games, have a lot of young talent, and of course Jabari could learn from one of the greatest ever, Kobe Bryant. The 76ers wouldn’t be a bad fit either, they’ll have Nerlens Noel to protect the paint, the potential NBA Rookie of the year in Michael-Carter Williams, as well as another lottery pick in the 2014 draft. The Utah Jazz could be a good spot, mainly because of their location in accordance with the Mormon faith.
I wish Jabari the best of luck in the NBA. He was an amazing talent that we got to witness this past year; we all have been so lucky to see him. I can’t wait to watch the best Duke freshman of all time torch the nets at the highest level.