The day after the Utah Jazz finished the 2013-14 regular season on Wednesday, April 16 tied with the Boston Celtics for the fourth-worst record, Duke freshman Jabari Parker finally made public his decision to enter the 2014 NBA Draft.
Parker announced his intentions in the most unique way. He wrote a 1,300 word essay and had it published on Thursday, April 17 in Sports Illustrated.
In a day and age when college athletes hold elaborate press conferences to announce they are leaving for the pros, Parker did something unheard of. He was humble, and even forthright. He told the truth about everything in his life.
He talked about his family, his religion, about his financial standing, about his future at Duke and most importantly, about himself and how he felt after losing that game to Mercer in the NCAA Tournament. He gave us a peek into the frightened 19-year-old he was -- and into the man he was about to become.
That alone should impress every NBA team, scout and person to consider him as the No. 1 pick in the draft. Did Andrew Wiggins do that? No, sadly, no college athlete has ever written a 1,300-word essay to announce they’re turning pro.
Parker is the first, and hopefully not the last college athlete to do this. His conviction is precisely the reason the Jazz should draft him -- if they are afforded the opportunity to do so.
Here is the bad news. The win over Minnesota gives Utah -- and the Celtics -- each a 10 percent chance of getting the first pick at the 2014 NBA Draft. Winning that one game over Minnesota reduced the Jazz’ odds of drawing the top pick by about 1.5 percent.
Now the good news. Parker is currently going No. 3 to Orlando in the latest mock draft scenario. In addition to having a 10 percent chance of getting the first pick the Jazz also have a 33 percent chance of getting a top-three pick -- presumably high enough to select Parker. Here are five reasons the Jazz should select him instead of Andrew Wiggins.