When it comes to the 2014 NBA Draft class, everybody has an opinion.
The names of Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, Dante Exum and Jabari Parker are often thrown around as potential number one pick material, though nobody will really know whose being selected a where until the actual night in June.
That doesn’t stop us from speculating, though. It also doesn’t stop us from dreaming about winning the first overall pick.
Realistically, the Lakers could end up with the top pick in June if the ping pong balls fall their way during May’s lottery, but who would they select if such an opportunity did arise?
Given the chance, NBA TV’s Grant Hill and Greg Anthony think the purple and gold should take Duke’s Jabari Parker.
“He’s the most ready and has a chance to be hugely successful right away,” Hill said, according to Mark Medina from the L.A. Daily News. “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.”
Of course, being a Duke guy, it’s no surprise to hear that Hill would select Parker with the first overall pick.
However, Anthony – a guy who went to UNLV – also says that Parker should be at the top of the Lakers’ draft board.
“Jabari Parker has probably shown the most, particularly offensively. Obviously he’ll be a target for a lot of people,” Anthony said. “He’s not an elite athlete. But he’s above average athletically and has a really good skill set. He has good size, can handle the basketball, shoots well and has improved as a rebounder.”
For what it’s worth, the Lakers reportedly have Parker on at number four on their draft board right now, while Joel Embiid is said to be the player they’d select with the first overall pick.
However, it’s worth remembering that a lot of guesswork goes into predicting a team’s draft board, especially at this time in the year.
At the end of the day, we likely won’t know who the Lakers plan to select until draft night on June 26.