Jabari Parker thinks Bucks, not Cavaliers, will draft him
Is Andrew Wiggins poised to be the No. 1 pick in Thursday's NBA draft? His chief competition for that honor, Jabari Parker, seems to think so.
Asked to predict whether he will be selected by the Cavaliers at No. 1 or the Bucks at No. 2, the Chicago-born Parker said Wednesday that he believes he's headed north to Milwaukee.
"I think I'll go two," Parker said in an ESPN video interview. "Milwaukee has already told me that they love me and they love my game. I haven't heard much about Cleveland."
The Cavaliers are reportedly unsure what they will do with the draft's first selection. Wiggins, a guard/forward who went one-and-done at Kansas, and Parker are seen as the most likely candidates after Kansas center Joel Embiid underwent foot surgery last week.
Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert wrote on Twitter Wednesday that reports of a difference of opinion in his organization over who should be selected at No. 1 were "nonsense," adding that the Cavaliers are "united" in their thinking.
Recent reports have suggested that Parker might prefer to land in Milwaukee, due to its geographical proximity to his family and the fact that he would be the clear No. 1 option.
"I think I would fit along really well with the young guys, especially a vet that I admire like OJ Mayo," Parker told ESPN, when asked about his possible fit with the Bucks. "I think I can learn from him. He's been in the league a long time and he's been a high school phenom."
Still, he wasn't totally ruling out the Cavaliers.
"I think I would be a pretty good fit because the small forward position is pretty open," he said. "The free agency of Luol Deng, [if] he leaves the organization I could replace him right away. ... I'm really anticipating being with either organization because they're looking forward to winning."
One oddsmaking service recently listed Wiggins as the favorite to go No. 1, ahead of both Parker and Embiid.
Upon declaring for the draft back in March, Wiggins said that it was his "dream" to be the first player taken. "[Being the No. 1 pick has] always been a big dream of mine," Wiggins said. "That's just the competitive side. You want to be chosen first. You want people to label you the best player."
Wiggins, 19, averaged 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 32.8 minutes per game this season, earning Big 12 Freshman of the Year and second-team All-American honors.
Parker, 19, averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds in 30.7 minutes per game for the Duke Blue Devils as a freshman, earning First Team All-American, All-ACC and ACC Freshman of the Year honors.