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NBA assistant says Jabari Parker would be best player on the Jazz right now

Compiled by Brandon Judd, Deseret News

Published: Mon, Nov. 18 4:10 p.m. MST

Jabari Parker 27 points vs Kansas (Full Highlights) [12.11.2013]

 Duke forward Jabari Parker eyes a rebound possibility during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, in Chicago.

Jabari Parker, with his LDS upbringing and basketball skills that are earning him national exposure, is already a well-known name in Utah.

If he finds himself in a Jazz jersey once he enters the NBA, would he be the team's greatest weapon?

One NBA assistant thinks so.

“That dude could play right now (in the NBA), like today,” an NBA assistant coach, who remained anonymous, told SNY.tv's Adam Zagoria.

“Like, if he left Duke right now and said, ‘I’m leaving,’ he would be Utah’s best player. He would be a lot of teams’ best player.”

This year's Jazz squad is led by Gordon Hayward, who is averaging 19.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, as well as two of the league's better big men in Derrick Favors (14 points, 10.6 rebounds) and Enes Kanter (15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds).

Parker is in his freshman year at Duke, where he chose to play after a standout prep career in Chicago. He considered BYU, among others, as a college destination before ultimately choosing the Blue Devils.

Through the first three games of his college career, Parker is averaging a team-leading 23.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. He also has six assists, four steals and three blocked shots.

He scored more points in his first two games, with 49, than anybody in Duke's storied history.

In Duke's 94-83 loss to No. 5 Kansas last week, the forward had 27 points and nine rebounds; he recorded his first collegiate double-double Friday against Florida Atlantic with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Parker's shooting ability could really help the Jazz, who are 28th in the NBA in field goal percentage at 41.3 percent. Utah also ranks dead last in 3-point shooting, hitting just 27.6 percent of its shots beyond the arc.

Parker has hit 58.5 percent of his field goals thus far (24-of-41), and that percentage increases on 3-pointers, as he's hit 11-of-16 (68.8 percent).

The assistant also said he would take Parker ahead of fellow freshmen Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle in next year's NBA draft. Wiggins, at Kansas, and Randle, at Kentucky, are also expected to be top draft picks next season.

The Jazz are currently 1-10, the worst record in the league, sitting behind Sacramento (2-7), Washington (2-7), Milwaukee (2-7), Detroit (3-6), New York (3-6) and Brooklyn (3-6).

“Jabari Parker is one of the special players, not only in the country this year, but I think he’s one of the special players Mike Krzyzewski has ever had,” ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said before the season. “He’s the real thing. And he’s only scratching the surface of how good he’s going to be.”

Email: bjudd@deseretnews.com; Twitter: @brandonljudd

Stephen A: Jabari Parker Ranks Above Wiggins and Randle

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1. kevo
Saratoga Springs, UT,
Nov. 18, 2013

You know what? The Jazz tanking this year doesn't seem so bad any more. Let's bring on Jabari!

2. Fred T
PHOENIX, AZ,
Nov. 18, 2013

“That dude could play right now (in the NBA), like today,”

This says a mouthful about the NBA and college level competition.
By allowing young men to leave college for the pros early, the talent pool has been dimished. Now kids that are very good, could actually play and star in the NBA.
Both prducts are a lot less than they used to be.
They have both been diluted.
Competitive? Yes, but so is Jr high basketball.

Same thing for football.

3. MrPlate
Lindon, UT,
Nov. 18, 2013

@Fred - when you say "allowing young men to leave college for the pros early," it sounds rather like you're suggesting mandated indentured servitude to the school and NCAA is a more appropriate plan. What right does anyone have to prevent someone with skills from earning a living with them? Do fans or schools have any right to obligate young men to a life course they do not want?

Should Bill Gates have been forced to attend college before creating computers and software for money? Should Mark Zuckerberg have been required to complete college and donate his skills to Harvard before starting Facebook? Should Doogie Howser have been prevented from a quick college path before pretending to practice medicine?

Besides, Duke is never short of talent, and the NCAA is a fascist organization, undeserving of the athletes they exploit and oppress.

4. Rational
Salt Lake City, UT,
Nov. 19, 2013

@Fred T,

Yeah, we all know how horrible Kobe and Garnett are. Never attending college really hurt them. Magic Johnson should've never left college after his Sophomore year. If he'd stayed in school, he may have won a championship or two. LeBron, too. What was he thinking? If he'd stayed in school he might've become an All Star, maybe even MVP, and won a championship or two (and counting).

5. SlopJ30
St Louis, MO,
Nov. 19, 2013

(Ir)Rational:

Citing the standout exceptions to the rule ignores the scors of kids that overestimate their abilities, come out too early, and end up another in a long line of washouts wondering how they ended up unemployed and uneducated before age 25. There are very few underclassmen who can legitmately say they are sure-fire lottery picks, and none of them are assured a Garnett or Kobe-like career (or a Bill Gates career). All it takes is one injury or some other misfortune and the dream is gone. Poke around online . . there's a never-ending supply of stories about players who left school early, didn't get drafted at all, and are now just regular folk . . or worse.

As to the current rules and state of the game, the NBA is plenty healthy, but it would be better off with players staying in college at least 2-3 years. From a legal and capitalist standpoint, I am forced to agree . . people have the right to leave school and get a job. From a personal standpoint, I HATE what early entry into the NBA has done to college hoops. It's a shadow of what it was.