As of this day who would you take? Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins?
Then there is Jabari Parker who hails from Simeon Prep out in Chicago, Illinois and is one of the most skilled freshmen this side of the century. Now the real question is if you're an NBA GM with the Number 1 pick in the 2014 draft, who do you take?
Let's take a look on what Andrew Wiggins' 3 Strengths and Weaknesses are. as well as his NBA comparison.
1.) Athleticism: Any surprise here? Andrew Wiggins is the most athletically gifted basketball player since Lebron James and if you don't know who that is than you probably shouldn't be reading this article.
2.) Penetration: Although Andrew hasn't had the eye popping scoring numbers you would expect from him so far, he has a great first step towards the basket. When he is confident enough to use it on a consistent basis he will start scoring with ease. This will allow him to draw fouls and get to the free throw line and also let him open up his mid range game.
3.) Mid-Range Shooting: Not many people see it yet but I believe that Andrew has a very nice stroke that will only improve with time and practice. If he becomes a 40 to 45% shooter from around the floor this will just make him an even bigger threat to opponents. Think about trying to defend a great athlete that can beat you from the outside and inside with his skills. Scary right?
1.) Consistency: It is still very early in the season but Wiggins has had a rough time putting out above average performances. He scored 22 and 26 points against top programs like Duke and Florida which are very good but then he has near goose eggs against the likes of UTEP where he only had 6 points on 2 of 9 shooting. Then a mere 11 Points against the New Mexico Lobos. If Andrew wants to be a number one overall pick he needs to play like it every night. But the good news is that its only December.
2.) Unselfish: Andrew has the ability to be the best player in the country and the top pick in this upcoming draft. But it's going to be hard for him to do that if he keeps differing to other players. The fact that he is the biggest threat on his team and he has already had 5 games out of 10 in which he has shot less than 10 times. Andrew needs to start using that ability of his to get to the hoop and draw contact. Yes, Kansas does have top players like Joel Embiid and Perry Ellis but he needs to set that aside and get his. It will benefit him and Kansas in the long run.
3.) 3 point shooting: Yes I know I just complimented him on his stroke and mid range game but Andrew has been struggling from 3 point land so far this season. He has shot 34% from downtown hitting 11 out of his 32 attempts. Again there is more good news. He has been knocking more down lately, hitting 5 in his past 3 games which nearly counts for half of his makes. 3 point shooting takes time. Just ask Derrick Rose and Lebron, who knows maybe one day it could be one of his strengths.
NBA Comparison: I don't have one exact player to compare him to but to me he is a mix of Lebron James and Tracy McGrady. He is like Lebron in the sense that he is an elite athlete and can bring down some rebounds throughout the night. But he moves away from the Lebron when it comes to passing the ball and making others better. He is going to be like Tracy McGrady in the sense that he is going to have an above average shooting game and have the ability to finish at the basket. I only say this also because I find it to be complete nonsense for anybody to be compared to Lebron James. The same goes for a Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and the GOAT himself Michael Jordan. I do think that one he will win an MVP award if he lives up to his potential and bring home a few championships if he finds the right supporting cast.
Jabari Parkers 3 Strengths and Weaknesses and NBA Comparison.
1.) Basketball IQ: Let's face it if you come to play for Duke University and Coach K you have to be a smart player or you'll end up on the bench with no playing time in sight. Jabari has been complimented by many GM's and Scouts around the league on his in game awareness and creativity. His size is the reason why its even more impressive. I can't name you a player that was this intelligent at this age. This can only bode well to the start of his NBA career.
2.) Versatility: Jabari hasn't even played his true position this season at Duke due to the transfer sensation that is Rodney Hood. Jabari has been forced to play the 4 position, but that doesn't affect him all that much. He has a great post game allowing him to give fits to other power forwards in the country due to his ability to shoot the ball as well. Jabari has a shooting guards stroke and can hit his shots from anywhere on the floor. He can also run the floor with his great ball control and run the length of the court while finishing in traffic. He can easily play as a 1 through 4 although his best fit would be at the 3.
3.) Scorer: This doesn't come as a surprise to many. Coming into college Jabari had been touted as a top shooter in the country and boy has he proven that so far this season. Shooting an incredible 55% from the field and an even more impressive 46.9% from 3 Point land. When shooting well Jabari can pretty much do anything on the offensive end. He can drive it to the basket and finish in traffic. Not only that he can post up big men and use his quickness and moves to get past them and finish with ease. He gets to the line about 6 times per game and has shot a pretty solid 75%. Look for Jabari to keep on improving throughout the season and possibly win the National Player of the year award.
1.) Defense: Due to Jabari's lack of experience in the post on the defense end and the rule changes in fouls in the NCAA. It has proven to be a bit of a difficult task so far this season. There are stretches in the game where the opposition will keep on feeding the ball down low and Jabari will be having trouble stopping them. This can result in him getting into some foul trouble but it hasn't proven to be that bad. Yes this is a weakness but I don't see it as a problem in the future. It's more of a freshmen thing than anything and over time it will be fixed. After all he does have Coach K teaching him.
**I don't really see many other weaknesses in Jabari's game so far this season. And it doesn't look like anymore will be arising the Defense problems usually are coming from the fact that he is playing out of position and is forced to play against stronger opposition.**
NBA Comparison: To be truthfully honest I don't see one player in the NBA that Jabari is all that similar too in multiple categories. He is an above average athlete with a very nice build. He can shoot from anywhere on the floor and grab multiple rebounds a game. He does have the ability to create some nice opportunities with his passing. So in conclusion I would say he is a mix breed of Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony. He does have Melo's shooting and post ability to go along with the rebounding. But Jabari is a better athlete than both in my opinion. The reason I say a Paul Pierce is due to his competitiveness and smarts. He is an a lot game and has plenty of moves to average about 26 or 27 points per game to go along with 6 or 7 rebounds and 3 or 4 assists a game. He can most certainly win multiple MVP's one day and Championships. Jabari really does have the potential to be one of the all time greats in basketball. Only time will tell with him but for now he looks awesome.
Who would I take Number One Overall in the 2014 NBA Draft?
As of right now I would take Jabari based off of the fact that he is already polished pretty well in multiple areas of the game. The crazy thing is that he is only going to improve. He started off his college career with 7 straight 20+ point games. The only other freshmen in history to do so? Kevin Durant out of Texas. Yea he's that good folks. You can even say he's farther along in his development than KD was. This is not a knock on Andrew Wiggins at all. If he is developed correctly and I do think he will be. Andrew Wiggins can be better than Jabari Parker in the long run. Sometimes GM's like making the safer pick. But who knows maybe Andrew Wiggins can explode in February and March. But for now Jabari Parker is the safer pick and it wouldn't surprise me if it stayed that way in June. But hey, only time will tell.