The Bucks selected Jabari Parker with the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday. Here’s a look at Parker and how he fits with Milwaukee:
Bio: Duke | Freshman | Small forward
Vitals: 6-8, 241 pounds
2013-14 stats: 19.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.2 blocks, 47.3 FG%
Strengths: Parker is the most NBA-ready player in the draft and a polished scorer who can make shots from anywhere. His skill set is incredibly advanced for his age (19), with ball-handling skills, a well-developed mid-range arsenal and a strong understanding of the game. He’s a willing rebounder with a wide lower half that lets him hold his own down low. Though he took a lot of difficult shots at Duke, it was often a byproduct of a stagnant offense. Parker is an unselfish player who enjoys making his teammates better, even if it didn’t translate into assists. He’s a leader with unquestionable character, and has dealt admirably with the heavy spotlight since high school. Parker has the ability to be a perennial All-Star and elite scorer. He’s as safe a bet as there is in this draft to have a long NBA career.
Weaknesses: There are questions about what position Parker will be able to guard in the NBA, as he’s a good-not-great athlete and was a liability at times for Duke. He’ll have to commit to improving on the defensive end and build his body in order to stay with his man, whether it’s on the perimeter or in the post.
Team Fit: Milwaukee fulfills its reported promise and selects Parker, a ready-made scorer who will step in for the Bucks on the wing and contribute on day one. He’ll bring maturity to the locker room and stability to the roster, giving the Bucks a major piece to shape their team around for years. The draft’s most polished player and safest selection is a no-brainer. Parker can fit at either the three or the four, and will pair with Giannis Antetokounmpo at the forward spots. Parker fills a big need on the perimeter, can score from anywhere, and can be the go-to guy immediately for a team in sore need of one. Milwaukee is just up the road from Parker’s native Chicago, and might gain some new fans with this pick as well. He has the potential to be an All-Star for a decade if all goes well.
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