Who is Jabari Parker?
At 6’8” and 240 pounds, many are trying to say Jabari is too short to play the right position or might be too heavy to play for a long time. I’d prefer to compare him (body-wise) to LeBron James, who also happens to be the same height and weight. I’m not saying he is the next LBJ; I’m just saying, let’s give the measurable a bit of a rest and let him prove himself.
So who is he? He is a versatile player that can create offense for himself and set up his teammates when necessary. He has great footwork, he can play in the post, he’s great at running off screens, and for some teams, and his ability to play both roles in the pick-and-roll set is an ideal match.
On the downside, he’s not as quick as you’d want a wing player and his defense isn’t fantastic. Especially on the perimeter where, as a wing player, he’d spend his time playing defense.
What is his role on an NBA team?
Many feel he has the potential to be a legit superstar. Especially most Duke fans. I think with the right teammates, he could be a legit #1 option, but he might be a high level #2 option that can take the role of #1 on occasion. He’s going to provide a scoring punch to any team that will draft him, and the team will need to scheme to cover for him on the defensive side.
How does he fit with the Utah Jazz?
Well, he’s a Mormon, so there’s that. He’s not Jimmer, so there’s that as well. Now that we have the obvious religious aspect out of the way, let’s get serious. The Jazz have Alec Burks at the two and Gordon Hayward can play the three, but neither is a potential #1 option. And right now, speculation is rampant on Hayward. Plus, with the Jazz love for the pick-and-roll, how great would it be to have him running either side with Trey Burke on the ball handler side or with Derrick Favors on the pick side? And defensively, with Favors anchoring the middle, Parker could get out and push his perimeter defense a bit more, knowing he has backside help.
I’m probably being a bit homer-ish here, but I don’t see a lot of downside to Parker playing for Utah.
See Parker’s profile at Draft Express.
I’ve seen comps to Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce, and even as a “stocky” Kevin Durrant. That’s high praise for this young man and if he turns out to be the Melo-Pierce hybrid some have suggested, that’s a great player with a long career ahead of him.