2014 NBA Draft Debate: Jabari Parker Or Andrew Wiggins?

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Nov 12, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Andrew Wiggins (22) dunks over Duke Blue Devils forward Jabari Parker (1) during the second half at United Center. The Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Duke Blue Devils 94-83. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

It’s one of the more polarizing topics in the 2014 NBA Draft, one of those discussions that can quickly turn into an argument if you feel strongly enough about it. Something that has people divided into two different camps, both trying to state their case for why their position is more valid.

Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. They will forever be linked together throughout their basketball careers. The top two recruits in college basketball, changing positions on who was the top recruit a number of times. Considered the top two players in college basketball for much of the season, both taking the claim as the best player in the country at some point.

Now, they are considered two of the top prospects in the NBA Draft, many having different feelings on who is the better NBA prospect.

These two players, while not as polarizing as say LeBron James or John Cena, have gained the attention of everyone involved with basketball. There are those who feel Wiggins is a better draft prospect because of his future potential.

Others feel that Parker is the better prospect because of what he brings to the table now.

This conversation is one I have had numerous times with fellow Hoops Habit writer Frankie Hobbs. I consider Frankie a friend of mine and we don’t often disagree on topics such as this, so when it first became a topic that we couldn’t see eye to eye on, the fear of it becoming a blown out of proportion argument took place.

However, because we are civilized people with respect for each other, we have decided to put our cards on the table and just hash it out.

No, this is not a First Take style debate, it’s an actual debate with two (yes, TWO) normal people who are able to think coherently. We differ on opinions here, so we’re going to put our thoughts out there for everybody else as well.

Frankie will be explaining why he feels that Andrew Wiggins is the better prospect for the 2014 NBA Draft.

I will be defending Jabari Parker.

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Tags: 2014 Nba Draft Andrew Wiggins Jabari Parker

  • Robert J Jones Jr.

    Jabari Parker and Kawai Leonard have similar body types.
    Andrew Wiggins and Paul George have similar body types.
    Which one got finals MVP and gave Lebron the blues also who has a similar body type to Lebron and has a much more polished GAME at that age?
    Offense comes naturally
    Defense is a mindset that can be taught
    In 11-15 years who will rely on GAME and IQ and who will rely on ATHLETICISM and which one diminishes over time also who is traditionally better at playing basketball Canadians or Americans

  • TheeLidman

    Tough chocie, but I’ve been on the ‘Melo comparisons on Parker for awhile too. I think Parker’s offensive game is more refined than ‘Melo’s was when he left (better 3pt shooter). LBJ always likes to say: ‘this is a make or miss league’. Parker is going to be able to score, from day 1, IMO. Wiggins’ upside is all dependent on how hard his willing to work to refine his offensive game. This isn’t HS or College anymore and he’s not always going to be the best athlete on the floor anymore, let alone the best by a wide margin. Sure, Wiggins could turn out to be Dwayne Wade or Blake Griffin like (where superior athleticism is enhanced by work and development to become an All NBA player), but he could also be the next Joe Alexander, Dennis Hopson, Ed O’Bannon or Darius Miles-all superior athletic talents, who didnt’ translate.

    • Nathan Giese

      I couldn’t agree more, and that’s the fear I have with Wiggins. UPSIDE can only get you so far. It depends on what you do with it. The gamble of that future to me is something I’m not always willing to do. I’d rather take the guy that’s shown he can be great already and build off that.

  • pjeffersonlim

    I think Jabari is misunderstood/underrated. He is substance rather than show. He is athletic, considering his almost Anthony Davis like standing reach (allegedly; same with Wiggins;almost half foot higher standing reach than Melo) and his 240lbs frame. His defense is overblown and can easily be improved compared to Wiggins’ raw offensive skillset. He is has a low floor because he is already capable to dropping around 20ppg right now and is probably top 5 SF behind KD, LBJ, Melo and PG, once he enters the league. People thinks he is a finished product because he is already advanced in his body type and skillset but I think he is the type of player who is relentless in improving his game and his advanced skillset is a testament for it. To sum it up, I think Jabari is a mix of Melo’s game and Grant Hill’s personality. Thus, It’s my personal belief that Jabari has a low floor and high ceiling.

    With Wiggins, what stands out about him is his generational athleticism. It’s so good that it allows him to coast against most competition. It’s so good that he never had that necessity to improve his ball handling and other offensive skillset. I think Wiggins’ lack of ball handling is slightly overblown because ITS NOT THAT BAD. I also think that even if Wiggins’ can’t be as good offensively as Jabari, Wiggins can be as productive with the right kind of system that can put his strengths into the spotlight and mask his deficiencies (ISO vs Off team play; see scoring average in college).

    In the end, I think both Wiggins and Jabari are close in terms of overall value, when all things are considered. What sets Wiggins apart is that slightly higher ceiling because of his generational athleticism. If Wiggins is asked to play in an offensive system that isn’t ISO heavy like the Sixers, I think he has a low floor. But if I’m expecting Wiggins to be the next do-it-all swingman like LBJ or KD like the Cavs or the Bucks, then I think he’s going to be a high risk prospect for them.

    • Nathan Giese

      Absolutely. I’m not saying that Wiggins isn’t worth the risk, but if I can have a player that’s already been successful and don’t have to wait for him to put it all together and figure it out like with Parker, then that’s my pick is all.