Jabari Parker: The Lead Dog With Lead Feet

Duke forward Jabari Parker is the best scorer in this draft class (sorry, McDermott). Parker is a burly 6’8″ manchild with a versatile offensive skill-set and an infectious on-court demeanor.

However, there are valid concerns about Parker being a bit of a tweener, particularly at the defensive end where his relative lack of explosiveness and lateral quickness are exposed. Here is a comparison of Jabari and past highly-touted freshman with similar positional and defensive question marks.

Jabari Parker .504 .358 11.4 1.5 1.4 1.6 3.0 25.0
Michael Beasley* .562 .379 15.7 1.2 1.3 1.6 3.7 33.3
Carmelo Anthony .496 .337 11.0 2.4 1.7 0.9 2.4 24.4
Glenn Robinson .487 .400 10.2 1.9 2.3 1.3 4.1 26.8
Antoine Walker .453 .309 12.4 3.9 2.3 0.7 4.9 21.6

*Mike Beasley is such a waste of talent. The 1 to 3 AST to TOV ratio is a serious red flag, but those numbers are insane. Beasley with Jabari Parker’s intangibles probably would have had an awesome career.

By the stats, Parker looks Melo-like on both ends and the eye test supports that comparison. On one hand, Jabari looks to be a safe bet to be a 20+ PPG scorer and a multiple-time all-star in the NBA. On the other hand, if you are a hapless NBA franchise in search of a savior, is adding the next Melo or Big Dog really that exciting? Neither are associated with winning in the NBA, though Robinson did play nine regular season games plus the playoffs for the ’05 Spurs championship team (a fact that I was reminded of only just now and that kind of hurts my argument here). Was that the inspiration for last summer’s T-Mac signing? Miss you, T-Mac!

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