Jabari Parker declares for NBA Draft

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After a couple of uncertain weeks surrounding Jabari Parker's basketball status, reports indicate that he has declared for the NBA draft.

An early exit from the NCAA tournament surely had Jabari Parker feeling regretful, which was likely one of the main reasons it took him so long to figure out whether he wanted to return to Duke and seek redemption, or chase his lifelong dream of becoming an NBA player.

We know the answer to that question now.

There's no doubt he would have loved to give it another go and silence his critics. That is, if the two-year requirement for college athletes was intact. But since it's not, he had no restrictions, and his passion for the game allowed him to follow his heart and pursue the next level of greatness. Can't blame him for that.

All the more welcome for NBA fans, Jabari Parker will be a top three pick in this year's draft and has the most immediate upside of any prospect. He has been compared to the likes of Carmelo Anthony and Paul Pierce, which is an okay compliment seen as he has yet to set one foot on the professional hardwood.

He has an arsenal of moves that is second-to-none among upcoming draftees, and he has the combination of speed and size that makes him as close to unguardable as it gets.

Unlike many prospects in the past that were stuck in-between the small forward and power forward positions (Derrick Williams is a prime example of how that can be disastrous in the NBA), Parker has proved he can play both at an elite level, which makes him extremely versatile and desirable for teams at need for either position.

Kansas' duo of Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid will be major competition for the first pick, but while both of them are seen to have higher long-term upside than Jabari, they have many more question marks surrounding them and both are more "boom-or-bust" types of players.

If the team with the first overall draft pick wants to play it safe and draft the most sure thing,  securing a certain franchise cornerstone in Jabari Parker would be the wisest choice. No questions asked. 

The upcoming draft has already garnered significant hype, and with Jabari Parker officially in the mix, few teams in the lottery will be scrambling for talent. 

NBA Draft
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