The season-long debate of who will be crowned as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft has been a three-man race between Duke‘s Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid of Kansas. The injury to Embiid might have derailed any hopes of being the top overall pick while Wiggins and Parker continue to impress. With the overall NBA ready talent Parker displays and the recent string of dominating performances by Wiggins, March Madness should decide who is taken with the top overall pick.
The NCAA Tournament is a time where Cinderella’s emerge and stars are born. But for the premier talent, it can be the last real showing NBA teams get to judge their potential draft picks. For teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic, Parker and Wiggins are the prized prospects they so desperately long for.
Over his last three games, Wiggins has averaged 31 points, including a 41-point explosion against West Virginia. He has shown that he finally understands when he wants to take over the game; all the opposition can do is watch. The few aspects of his game that were criticized, such as his shooting touch and attacking mentality, have been transformed, and Wiggins looks to be molding into the star he was thought to be.
Parker, on the other hand, has played well, but just not as well as Wiggins, averaging 20 points per game. His shooting has also been much less efficient than Wiggins, but the fluidity and complete control he shows on the offensive end often mesmerizes you.
To land Wiggins or Parker would be a franchise-changing moment for any team, but there can be a huge difference between the future that two of the top talents in the country bring to your team. Just look at LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony; one has three championships while the other has yet to make the NBA Finals.
This scenario can play out in the same fashion between Parker and Wiggins, but the opportunity is there for each of them to carry their teams through March Madness and to a NCAA Championship. This will give the team with the top overall pick a much better idea of who to build their franchise around, whether it’s Parker or Wiggins.