The Utah Jazz look to be on track to be in the running for the number 1 pick in the NBA draft. The Jazz have started 0-8 and unless they find a way to beat the New Orleans Pelicans tonight then they might go O-fer for a while. Since the Jazz look to be on track to win the lottery many fans, including myself, were very interested in the college games last night as the projected number 1, 2 and 3 picks in the upcoming draft were on the floor. Imagining one of these 3 on the floor with our young and talented core of players made my mouth water.
Andrew Wiggins had 22 points, 8 rebounds and a block shooting 9/15 from the field and was the only of the 3 to walk away with a win. In the second half a bunch of people wondered where Wiggins had been all game as it seemed like he didn’t do a ton to help the Jayhawks. Wiggins let everyone know he was there late in the game with a step back jumper and a steal that led to a dunk and one with the foul going to Jabari Parker removing him from the game with his 5th. It was the play that sealed the deal for Kansas and gave them the win. After the game you look down at the stat sheet and see he did have those 22 points and wonder where and when he got them. The fact that you didn’t notice Wiggins and he still put up 22 and 8 make you wonder what his stat sheet will read when he has himself a big game.
Julius Randle finished his game with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks shooting 9/14 from the field. He struggled a bit in the first half and the Wildcats fell behind early to the Spartans. Randle was a different player in the second half leading his team to a big second half charge and dominating in the low post. Randle was very impressive in the second half and his stat sheet showed how dominate he actually was in the game. The one thing Randle will need to improve on is his free throw shooting as he was 9/15 in the game last night.
While all 3 players were very impressive to me Jabari Parker stood out and shined on the big stage. Parker finished with 27 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and a block while shooting 9/18 from the field and 4/7 from the 3 point line. Unlike Wiggins and Randle, Parker had 19 points in the first half and really asserted his dominance early in the game. Parker is a lock for a top 5 pick in the upcoming draft and has a very good case to be the number 1 overall pick.
All 3 of these players are can’t miss players for the Utah Jazz in the upcoming draft for the Jazz. They all are extremely talented and would have been selected number 1 overall in this past draft. That being said I believe that Jabari Parker would be the most valuable for the Jazz to select for a number of reasons. The Jazz are a young team with a bunch of players with different strengths. The one strength that the Jazz don’t seem to have is someone who is a dominant scorer and that seems to be exactly what Jabari Parker will be. Parker can shoot from anywhere on the floor and also has the ability to finish at the rim. Gordon Hayward is very talented play maker and while he can score the basketball very effectively having Parker as the focus point of opposing defenses would open things up for Hayward to get everyone involved.
The Jazz also seem to have a bigger need on the wings instead of down low so Wiggins or Parker would probably be the best for the Jazz. Enes Kanter is struggling early in the season but we need to remember how little of playing time Kanter actually has so far. Favors will be a very good defensive player for a long time in this league and on any given night can give you 20 points and is continually improving on the offensive end. Both Kanter and Favors will continue to improve throughout this season and should be two big men we can count on for the future. All I know is that if Kanter and Favors are your 4th and 5th options on offense behind Burke, Hayward and Wiggins/Parker then you would have a very dangerous team.
Finally I really like the versatility that Jabari Parker has on the basketball floor. Parker has a big enough body that he could occasionally defend some centers in this league but also has the ball handling ability to run the point if called upon. There are probably only a hand full of players in the NBA right now that you can say that about and getting one of those guys gives you so many different options and a whole lot of flexibility. The Jazz are in position to draft a future superstar in this league and honestly can’t miss by drafting any of these 3 guys but if the Jazz can someone land Jabari Parker, I think he would best fit the Jazz need to continue building toward a championship.