I understand his hesitation to leave. With the Blue Devils being ousted early in the 2014 NCAA tournament, and having the top incoming freshman class featuring PG Tyus Jones and top overall ranked recruit C Jahlil Okafor, I can see why Parker is considering staying at Duke. He was not able to experience the excitement surrounding the tournament, and if he returns to join that incredible freshman class, the Blue Devils will be the favorites for the National Championship.
With all that being said, it is always risky to stay at school longer than is needed. Not only do major injuries happen, but Parker’s stock could fall with an underwhelming sophomore season, similarly to what happened to Marcus Smart this year. With an offensive game that has brought comparisons to Carmelo Anthony and is NBA ready, Parker would better off entering the draft this season. With the worst record in the league, the Milwaukee Bucks will almost surely have a top-3 pick in the upcoming draft. They should be hoping that Parker enters this draft, because he is exactly the kind of player that they need.
With a record of 15-65, it obvious that the Bucks have a lot of needs, but first, they must find a player to build their team around. While Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid are great players with incredible upside in this draft, I believe that Parker is the safest pick of the bunch. His offensive game being NBA ready will allow him to step right up and become the much-needed leading scorer of the Bucks. Parker is also a very high character player with a great attitude, so he could step in and be the leader that the Bucks desperately lack at the moment.
To go along with the comparison to Anthony, the biggest flaw in Parker’s game is his lack of defensive consistency. Parker is a very hard worker, and will eventually get his defense to at least league average, but he will probably struggle on that side of the court early in his career. That said, with players like Larry Sanders, John Henson and Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks already have a nice, young defensive core. Milwaukee could hide a below average defender, if he is giving them scoring on the other end of the floor, making Parker the perfect fit for the Bucks.
He will reportedly make his decision on Tuesday. While I could see this going either way, I think Parker ultimately ends up entering the draft. Obviously it will depend on how the ping pong balls drop in the lottery, but if he declares, I think Parker ends up in Milwaukee as their core franchise player.