PARKER TO BUCKS NO. 2
Jabari Parker missed out on being Duke’s fourth No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick Thursday night but at least he’s going back to his native part of the country.
After the Cleveland Cavaliers made Andrew Wiggins the top pick, the Milwaukee Bucks took Parker No. 2 overall in the NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Cavaliers considered the 6-8 Parker for the top pick along with Australian teenager Dante Exum, a 6-5 shooting guard and Wiggins’ Kansas teammate Joel Embiid.
Parker, though, said leading into the draft that he never received a solid commitment from Cleveland. He did say Milwaukee told him they liked him and would take him at No. 2.
The Bucks followed through on that promise, bringing the Chicago born-and-raised Parker back to the Midwest to begin his pro career.
“This has been real humbling to get anybody who just wants you," Parker said "I’ve had that luxury of Duke and Simeon (high school) who really wanted me.”
In his lone season at Duke last season, Parker led the Blue Devils in scoring (19.1 points) and rebounding (8.7) for a 26-9 team. He was selected a first-team, All-American and won the Wayman Tisdale Award as the nation’s top freshman.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has said that he expects Parker to be a 20-point scorer immediately in the NBA, saying he’s the top scorer available this year.
“They are a young team," Parker said of the Bucks. "I feel like I can contribute right of the bat. I fee like I’m going to grow with that situation. I’m a throwback. I want to stick with one team. This might bite me in the butt later. “
Duke has had at least one first-round pick in each of the last four NBA drafts, with Parker joining Irving, Nolan Smith (Portland, 2011), Austin Rivers (New Orleans, 2012), Miles Plumlee (Indiana, 2012) and Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn, 2012) as Duke’s most-recent first-rounders.