The 2014 NBA draft may be without Jabari Parker, who is reportedly making plans to return to Duke for his sophomore season. According to Philadelphia 76ers beat writer Tom Moore, Parker has applied for student housing for the 2014-2015 school year at Duke.
— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) April 9, 2014
Many analysts are predicting the 2014 NBA draft to be one of the most star studded and loaded drafts in history. A lot of those predictions were based on the assumption that Jabari Parker would be included in the 2014 NBA draft class. With Kansas players Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins already declaring for the NBA draft, it seemed as if Parker’s decision was only a matter of time. Projected anywhere from the first pick to the third, Parker is sure to receive a major payout no matter which team he ends up with.
What seems like an easy decision to many, has apparently been a very difficult one for Jabari Parker. After Duke lost in the 2014 NCAA tournament round of 64 to Mercer, Parker seemed even more on the fence about the decision. It seems that losing left a bitter taste in his mouth. Maybe Jabari Parker cares more about his legacy than money?
Parker arguably outshined all freshman this year, being named a first team All-American, averaging 19.3 points and 8.8 rebounds. While Wiggins, Embiid, and Julius Randle all appeared inconsistent at times, Parker never seemed to shy away from his responsibility. It is the very quality that many think will make him a great professional basketball player. So why would Parker choose to pass up the 2014 NBA draft?
Duke’s incoming freshman class of Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Grayson Allen is easily the most highly touted in the nation. Add a seasoned Jabari Parker to the group and the Duke Blue Devils will put one of the most devastating teams on the court ever assembled in college basketball. If Parker decides to stay, the Blue Devils are easily preseason favorites to win it all. It is possible to consider that the desire to win at every level drives Parker more than the need for a career and money.
Would he be ridiculed? You can bet on it. In today’s basketball culture, there would be no comparison to Parker making this kind of decision. As players face constant media attention and exposure, the need to go pro intensifies with every game. Will Parker buck the trend and declare that winning on the college level is as important as an NBA career? Or maybe he just likes Duke’s campus so much he wants to stay there a while longer?
Whatever his decision, Jabari Parker is certainly adding to the drama of the 2014 NBA draft.
[Image via Bing]