With Jabari Parker’s decision to officially declare for the 2014 NBA draft, lottery teams are ready to get serious about their big boards. As with every NBA draft, the 2014 version is sure to be filled with lots of speculation leading up to June 26th. The biggest speculation is what order NBA teams should draft Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, and Joel Embiid.
What separates the NBA draft from the other professional sports is the limited number of selections and of course the much debated lottery system to determine the top three teams to pick. As it stands, every NBA team that fails to reach the playoffs has a shot at a top three pick. But the worst teams receive a better shot at getting one of the big three in the 2014 NBA draft. So let’s take a look at how the Jabari Parker decision affects the three worst teams in the NBA.
The Milwaukee Bucks somehow managed to be worse than the Philadelphia 76ers this season, in spite of the 76ers putting a team on the floor that would have struggled to make the NCAA tournament. Milwaukee was predicted by many to contend for one of the Eastern Conference playoff spots, but they epically failed to match expectation. After the sale of the team this week, major changes can be expected.
If the Bucks end up drafting Jabari Parker, they will be making a decision to take an upgrade at the forward position. The biggest knock on the Bucks this season was their accumulation of athletic big men who all grab rebounds, but can’t score. In fact, the only true scorer on the team is O.J. Mayo and that experiment has been a dismal failure. Building around a core of Brandon Knight, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jabari Parker, the Bucks would be able to plan for the future with multiple line up options.
As hard as the 76ers attempted to be the worst team in the NBA, the Bucks were able to out tank them. With a core of Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel, pretty much everyone else on this Philadelphia team is expendable. Jabari Parker would step in and be able to play right away on this roster. Able to play as a big three man or a stretch power forward, Parker would bring a healthy balance to the 76ers offense.
Defensively, the addition of Parker would add another long defender. Both Carter-Williams and Noel are known for their length and defensive prowess. Parker showed signs of getting lost on defense at times, but also had flashes of brilliance. Those three players combined would most certainly make for one of the more exciting young trios in the NBA.
Probably the best of the “bad” teams, Orlando has been in the rebuilding process since trading Dwight Howard. Through a series of fortunate trades, non-trades, and smart front office decisions, GM Rob Hennigan has managed to instill the belief that this Orlando Magic team has a future.
Jabari Parker would be the superstar piece the Magic are looking for. Of course if they draft Parker, they would have a decision to make about Tobias Harris. Harris has shown flashes over the last two seasons of being a very good starter in the NBA. His style and position would mean a battle with Parker for minutes. Orlando may not be a good fit as they have much more need at point guard right now as Jameer Nelson’s time in Orlando appears numbered.
No matter where Jabari Parker ends up in the 2014 NBA draft, his decision to leave Duke was probably the right one. Any team will be happy to have him.
[Image via Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports]