Jabari Parker still has not officially declared for the NBA Draft…no matter what you may read on Twitter from people “who know a guy close to the situation.”
While many feel he will declare in the coming days/week, there are others who have listened to things Parker has said and feel he could still return to Duke. After the loss to Mercer Parker spoke to ESPN’s Andy Katz:
Jabari Parker tells @ESPNAndyKatz that his career is incomplete, and that could affect decision on whether to return for sophomore season.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 21, 2014
There have been reports since January that NBA GM’s feel as though he wants to stay at least one more year to team up with the #1 recruiting class and lead Duke to a National Championship. Those reports, coupled with what he said to Katz, are what give Duke fans a sliver of hope he does return.
While Blue Devil fans want Parker to return for selfish reasons, Charles Barkley, among others, feel Jabari (and Andrew Wiggins) is not ready for the NBA:
“Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins are supposed to be top-3 draft picks,” he continued. “They didn’t have very good games — and it’s just one game — but if they’re going to struggle against Mercer and Stanford, they’re really gonna struggle against grown men.”
Parker won the 2013-14 ACC Freshmen of the Year award, along with being named to All-ACC First Team, as well as numerous First Team All-American honors. He is currently projected by DraftExpress.com as the 3rd overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft. He averaged 19 points, nearly 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block per game while shooting nearly 48% from the field in his only season for the Blue Devils.
Before the season started, in our “Will they stay or go (pro)” piece, we felt as though Parker would return for his sophomore season and come back to play for a National Championship alongside the #1 recruiting class in 2014.