The Los Angeles Lakers will have a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft for the first time since 2005 when they selected Andrew Bynum. This time around the Lakers will have an opportunity to bring in a future face of the franchise and current NBA analyst Grant Hill believes it should be Duke's Jabari Parker according to Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News on March 19:
“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 many other talent prospects potentially heading into the 2014 NBA Draft. Parker appears to be among the college basketball's elite class heading into 2014 NCAA Tournament and may see his draft stock rise if he's able to lead Duke deep into the tourney.
Although Hill believes Parker is the fit for the Lakers reports have surfaced with GM Mitch Kupchak and company possibly leaning in another direction. That direction may be toward Kansas and their two star players currently playing for Bill Self.
Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid are strong candidates to leave the Jayhawks in favor of the NBA. Wiggins has been receiving a lot of hype over the past two years while in high school and during his first year with Kansas, but Embiid might go higher and possibly to the Lakers with the team looking for a defensive-minded center.
Other names that are bound to surface as the 2014 NBA Draft draws near are Dante Exum (Australia), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State) and Julius Randle (Kentucky). Exum has already gotten the attention of the Lakers franchise by signing with Kobe Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka, and letting it be known that he believes he's a good fit in Los Angeles.