Name: Jabari Parker Age: 19 School: Duke
Height: 6’8 Weight: 235 Projected Position: PF/SF
19.1 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.2 bpg, 2.3 tpg (30.7 minutes per game)
47.3 FG%, 74.8 FT%, 55.8 TS%, 51.1 eFG%
32.7 USG%, 11.4 ORB%, 23.1 DREB%, 17.1 TRB%, 11.9 TOV%
SKILLS & ATHLETIC BREAKDOWN
Parker is a strong offensive post player, having more skill than any freshman in years. He does a good job using his body to establish position in the post area, though he could use his lower body more to create space. He sets a good target for passers and has very good hands. Parker has a good repertoire of post moves for his age, and his ability to make moves over either shoulder makes him tough to defend one-on-one. He has shown a nice drop step over either shoulder, a quick hook, as well as the ability to hit a quick turnaround jumper out of the low post. Parker needs to work on getting a better sense of where the defense is before he makes a move, often being surprised that he runs into help defenders. Parker can be very good facing up out of the post and using his dribble to get by his man to the basket, or knocking down the jumper. Parker isn’t a strong screener, but he can open up well to the ball as the “roll” man in the pick-and-roll, though he has to work on moving quicker towards the basket, looking for the pass. Parker understands spacing well and can be very active moving in the post to get in position for the ball. He is often single-minded when he gets the ball in the post, and finding open teammates is low on his list. Parker can be slow to handle double-teams, but he showed some improvement later in the season. He still is skilled enough to find his shot when faced by multiple defenders on him, though they aren’t always very good shots.
Parker is a good ballhandler for his size, able to use both hands well, and able to attack the basket in either direction. When going to the basket, Parker uses his body well to shield defenders from the ball, and he has a variety of moves to create space for his shot. He has excellent body control around the basket, but he can let the ball get away from him if he tries to get through the help defenders. Parker needs to do a better job keeping his head up when heading to the basket and sensing where the help defenders are coming from, and being able to find an open teammate. Parker is capable of finishing with either hand around the basket, and he has shown very good hesitation and spin moves to beat his man to the rim.
Parker has the ability to be a very good perimeter shooter, though his shot selection will need a lot of work. He has a high release and good follow-through, though he can be quicker getting his shots off. Parker does have to watch having a lot of movement in his lower body once he is in his motion, especially kicking out his legs while he is shooting, which can have an effect on his upper body as he is releasing the ball. Parker has shown range beyond the NBA three-point line, but his shots often don’t have a lot of arc on them, so longer shots have a tendency to come up short. He can hit his jumper off the dribble, both mid- and long-range, though he needs to work on not drifting when he goes up for a shot off the dribble. Parker is not a very good screener, but he does get open in pick-and-pop situation and can knock down open shots.
Free Throw Shooting
Parker is an average free throw shooter, but he has a good shooting motion and follow-through and should continue to improve. He has a consistent routine and good balance at the line, with a smooth motion and good follow-through. Parker does a very good job drawing contact around the basket, though he didn’t get to the line as often as he could of because the majority of his shots were jumpers. He goes to the free throw line around .4 times for every field goal attempt, but he draws at a much higher rate when he was playing around the basket area.
Post Defense/Help Defense
Parker has shown flashes of being a good post defender, but is below-average overall. He sets a balanced base with his legs and positions himself well between his man and the basket, at least early on in the possession. He also has shown good footwork when defending against both back-to-the-basket and face-up post moves, though his reaction time needs to be much better. Parker tries to use his length to deny passing lanes, and he will get his hands on some passes made into the post. He doesn’t hold his ground very well against post moves, and offensive players have little problem backing him down. He needs to watch using his hands to try and push his man off the post, and learn to use his lower body. Parker’s defensive awareness is average, but he needs to improve as a help defender. He is often a step or so slow to react and doesn’t get to help position in time to make a play, or he will anticipate having to help too soon and leave his man alone for a long period of time. Parker does do a good job challenging shots, and when he is in position, he can be a decent shot-blocker. In pick-and-roll situations, Parker needs to do a better job hedging on the ballhandler, but is either slow to recover, or he doesn’t fully commit and leaves a gap for the ballhandler to make a play.
Perimeter Defense (On/Off Ball)
Parker is a below average perimeter defender, though he showed some improvement over the course of the season. He positions himself well between his man and the basket, but his lateral movement and reaction to movements need a lot of work. Parker does a good job closing on perimeter shooters, though he is quick to fall for shot fakes and getting drawn off his feet. Off the ball, Parker positions himself well though he can find himself drawn out of position if guarding an offensive player who likes to move around the floor or Parker may just find himself wandering towards the lane looking to help, but leaving his man completely along the way. Again, his reaction time needs some improvement, and it is tough for him to contain most players off the dribble. His defensive awareness is average, though much better near the lane than on the perimeter.
Parker has a great knack for tracking and getting his hands on missed shots, though he will need to be much tougher to be a strong rebounder in the NBA. He goes very strong after the ball, but he needs to make sure to put a body on someone or he will be pushed out of the play by stronger players. On the offensive end, Parker can be aggressive going after missed shots, and, he uses his length well to get to balls quickly. He is quick to get off shots when he gets an offensive board, but the shots aren’t always quality shots and he will often put up shots in traffic instead of looking to find an open teammate.
Parker runs the floor very well for his size and he is an option to score in a variety of ways on the break. Parker does a good job catching passes around the basket and finishing strong with good body control. He can also take the ball off the dribble from one of the wings, or spot up behind the three-point line. Parker will look to start the break himself, at times, after grabbing a rebound, and while he had some success in college doing it, he needs to improve his ballhandling to do it in the NBA.
Parker is as skilled an offensive player as I’ve seen over the past few seasons in college, and by far the most as a freshman. He is a threat to score in the post, in the mid-range area, and from the behind the arc. He handles the ball well for his size and can be score in creative ways, or finish above the rim. Parker demands a lot of attention from defenses, but he hasn’t learned yet how to turn that into an advantage for his teammates. Shot selection can be an issue and he needs to realize that he isn’t always the best option to score. Parker was very good on both the offensive and defensive glass, but he will need to be stronger to carry that over to the NBA level. Defensively, Parker is subpar, but he showed some improvements by the end of the year. He has a lot of fundamental weaknesses and will probably be need to be taught how to defend in various situations. Parker has a good understanding of the offensive game and will contribute immediately on that end.
Draft Value: Early Lottery – #1-6
Parker is the freshman from this class most likely to have an immediate impact, and Parker should have little problem showing off his scoring prowess against NBA defenders. He won’t offer much on defense, at least for a couple of seasons, but if you surround him with above-average defenders, you can find ways to hide him. He may not have the upside of Andrew Wiggins or Joel Embiid, but he is ready to start now, and I am sure his name will still be in play for the #1 pick no matter who gets it. No matter what, I’d be surprised if he falls out of the Top 3.
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