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Friday, June 20, 2014
Why Cavs should pick Jabari Parker

By Ryan M. Grace, ESPN Stats & Information


US PresswireJoel Embiid, Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins are expected to be early picks in the 2014 NBA Draft.
By jumping from the ninth spot to first in the NBA Draft Lottery, the Cavaliers expect to get a better player who makes a long-term impact. But how big of a difference is that eight-spot jump?

The Cavs gained 1.6 expected wins per season based on historical win shares at the first pick compared to the ninth pick.


Expected wins: prorated version of win shares for a season. It measures the win shares a player would be expected to produce if he played 36 minutes per game for 75 games.

Jabari Parker averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game during the 2013-14 season at Duke, earning the USBWA National Freshman of the Year Award and becoming a consensus first-Team All-American.

If the Cavaliers’ goal is to win now to fight for a playoff berth, retain Kyrie Irving and vie for elite free agents, Parker’s offensive polish makes him a safe pick.

Parker: Complete offensive package

Parker and Andrew Wiggins were focal points of their respective team’s offense, but Parker was more successful. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Parker ranked sixth among major conference players (AAC, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC) with 16.1 half-court points per game.

Despite being a freshman, Parker was one of five players in major conferences to have at least 600 plays. The other players on the list – Doug McDermott, T.J. Warren, Bryce Cotton and Shabazz Napier – were members of the All-American team or earned their conference’s Player of the Year Award.

One knock on Wiggins’ game has been his lack of aggression in attacking the hoop. Parker demonstrated his offensive tenacity by attempting 94 more shots in the paint than Wiggins this past season.

The Cavaliers were one of the worst teams in the paint during the regular season, shooting 51 percent (league average: 54 percent).

Moreover, the Cavaliers averaged six post-up points per game during the regular season, 26th in the league according to Synergy Sports Technology, shooting 43 percent on such plays. Parker averaged 3.6 post-up points per game, shooting 55 percent on such shots. His post-up efficiency was as good as Joel Embiid’s, who also shot 55 percent on post-up plays.

Although Wiggins is being labeled a perimeter player, Parker shot better outside the paint this season, including from 3-point range. Parker made 36 percent of his shots from outside the paint compared to 33 percent for Wiggins.

Perhaps history is on Parker’s side as well. Duke wing draftees have averaged 116 more games than Kansas wing draftees since the merger (since 1976).