Once the 2013-14 NBA season comes to an end, GM Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss will direct their attention to the 2014 NBA Draft. The Los Angeles Lakers will have a lottery pick for the first time since 2005 and there’s no better time be drafting in the top 10 with all the talent potentially available.
With the Lakers possibly having a pick in the top five, quite a few promising players are in the conversation in terms of coming to Los Angeles. One of those players is Duke’s Jabari Parker and current NBATV analyst Grant Hill believes he’d be a perfect fit for the Lakers via Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News:
“Jabari Parker. He’s the most ready and has a chance to be hugely successful right away. He’s a quality small forward and he’s a guy who could come in and play with Kobe Bryant right away. When Kobe retires, Jabari could be the face of the franchise. Somebody like that is someone I would point to as my definite number one. He’s very versatile and can do a number of things on the court. He can score, facilitate and has a great feel for the game. He has great character. He’s a strong guy and has got that kind of NBA physicality to be a power player from a small forward position.”
Along with Parker, there will be plenty of potential perennial All-Stars available in the form of Dante Exum, Andrew Wiggins, Marcus Smart, Joel Embiid and Julius Randle.
All these possible draftees will be playing in the 2014 NCAA Tournament with the exception of Australia’s Exum. That being said, the draft stock of these players is bound to rise and fall over the next couple of weeks due to their performances on the biggest stage of college basketball.
Although many of these potential draft prospects have a high upside, Parker does appear to be the most NBA-ready. Wiggins received a lot of LeBron James-like hype during his high school days and could prove to be a superb NBA talent someday, but hasn’t the made the impression that Parker has in one season on the collegiate level.
As stated earlier, the performances of these promising young prospects will likely help dictate where they may be taken in the upcoming draft. Wiggins and Parker may be battling it out to become the first pick in the draft.
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