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Jabari Parker, Duke Eliminated, NBA Draft Status in Doubt


Seeing as college basketball is currently the only thing we care about (and 36 losses, I s'pose), news that Jabari Parker has played hist last game of the season is big. Duke lost to Mercer in the first (second) round of the NCAA Tournament and Jabari played mostly bad basketball. Against a bunch of seniors including Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year Daniel Coursey, the freshman went 4-14 for 14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 turnovers, and zero assists. Additionally, Mike Krzyzewski (first try!) kept him on the bench for Amile Jefferson, who can actually play some defense. Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood are done for the year.

This is quite interesting for a lot of reasons. Obviously, the majority of us would like the Sixers to select Andrew Wiggins in the 2014 NBA Draft. I would like to think I know enough about Sam Hinkie to say he wants the same, though I certainly wouldn't guarantee it. When Joel Embiid and Jabari Parker were viable candidates for the top pick, there was a chance the Sixers wouldn't necessarily need to win the Lottery to end up with Wiggins. Now, it's looking increasingly likely that that's no longer the case.

Both Embiid and Parker are not 100% leaving school for the Draft, though we haven't heard anything new about that in months. It stands to reason they're still up in the air. With Parker potentially having unfinished business after a first-round exit, he could stay. With Jahlil Okafor and Justice Winslow coming into school to form a Triumvirate of J-awesome, he could stay. With Embiid's back issues keeping him out of the NCAA Tournament, he could stay. With Embiid's concern the he himself isn't ready for the NBA as guys like Shaq, Hakeem, and Duncan stayed more than one year, he could stay.

I personally think both guys will come out. I also think that even if they do, Andrew Wiggins will be the first pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Embiid's back problems and Jabari's issues on defense are significant issues that could keep teams away at the top. I doubt at this point that Dante Exum is in the conversation for anybody at #1. So, from where I stand, it's gonna be Wiggins.

The Sixers will need to win the Lottery to get him.

So win the Lottery.

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