Imagine this scenario: There’s three seconds left in game seven of the 2016 NBA Finals. The Boston Celtics are down by one point and have the ball. Rajon Rondo dishes the ball to an open player for a game-winning, step-back jumper. That player is Jabari Parker.
That scenario could happen. It’s early – way too early. The 2013-14 season hasn’t even started yet, but experts are starting to unveil their 2014 Mock Drafts already. ESPN’s Chris Ford just released his, and he has the Celtics selecting Duke‘s Jabari Parker with the number five pick in the draft.
The 2014 draft class is full of studs, and Parker is most certainly one of them. Jabari, the son of former NBA player Sonny Parker, was the 2012 national boys’ basketball Gatorade Player of the Year, as well as the 2013 McDonald’s All-American Game national player of the year. He’s considered by many experts to be the top player in the recruiting class of 2013. At 6-foot-8, 241-pounds, Parker is a physical prototype for an NBA forward. The talented he possesses presents even more potential. Experts believe Parker could be the second coming of Carmelo Anthony.
In order for the Celtics to get a shot at drafting Parker, two things must happen. The first is that Parker has to go pro. The 18-year-old will be a freshman at Duke this year. All signs point to him declaring draft eligibility after this season, but there’s always the chance he doesn’t. The second thing that has to happen in order to draft Parker is that the Celtics have to finish with a (much) less than stellar record this year. In Ford’s mock draft, he predicts the Celtics will go 29-53 (giving them an 8.8 percent chance to win the draft lottery). I personally believe the Celtics will finish well above that mark, but if Parker could somehow be a part of the Celtics’ future, you’ll hear no complaints from me.
Parker would be the perfect fit with the Celtics for many reasons. First of all, Celtics’ President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge, already has a connection to Parker. Both of them are Mormon, and Ainge has even been an informal adviser to Parker in the past. Aside from any personal connections, Parker would also be a great fit for the team. The frontcourt that the Celtics are building for the future currently consists of Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk. These two are incredibly skilled big-men. If you look at the future of the backcourt, you see the super-athletic Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley. Throw a highly skilled and athletic Jabari Parker into the mix at the SF position, and that team could be in contention for banner No. 18.
Maybe in a few years we actually could see Parker hit that game-winning, step-back jumper for another Celtics’ championship.