Derrick Rose also feels Jabari Parker can go No. 1 in NBA Draft
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter June 25, 2014 4:20PM
Updated: June 26, 2014 10:57AM
Bulls point guard Derrick Rose had his own scouting report on fellow Simeon alum Jabari Parker earlier in the year.
“I’m happy for him now, just seeing him,’’ Rose said in November. “He was a chubby, fat little kid playing with us when I was in high school, and now he’s potentially going to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.’’
The Cleveland Cavaliers, who own the No. 1 pick, are torn between Parker and Andrew Wiggins.
The Cavs’ front office, including general manager David Griffin, was reportedly leaning toward Parker. Owner Dan Gilbert reportedly wanted Wiggins.
Gilbert, however, downplayed the tug-of-war, insisting on Twitter, “Nonsense. We are united.’’
This wasn’t even a question a week ago. All signs pointed to the Cavaliers drafting Kansas big man Joel Embiid. But a foot injury changed those plans, especially with the Cavaliers still getting beat up for taking Anthony Bennett with the first pick last June. Bennett was a complete bust as a rookie, averaging 4.2 points and three rebounds.
Embiid still could jump into that top spot, but it’s unlikely considering Gilbert’s win-now mentality. So that leaves Parker and Wiggins in a waiting game.
Parker, who played one season at Duke, is considered the safe pick, but he has raised some flags the last 10 days. His workout with the Cavs was reportedly less than stellar, and when it was reported that he was back on the heavy side for the workout, his father, Sonny, went on the defensive and said it was done on purpose to sway the draft.
Meanwhile, Wiggins has had no such problems.
With a higher ceiling than Parker, Wiggins reportedly wowed the Cavs and Bucks, who own the No. 2 pick in the draft Thursday. Wiggins is a better athlete than Parker, but there are concerns about his shooting consistency and his unpolished offensive game.
At 6-8, however, there’s no questioning his explosiveness, especially at guard, as well as an ability to play NBA-level defense.
Then again, the Cavs also have indicated they’d part with the pick.
It’s no secret that Cleveland has been doing its best to lure LeBron James back home, and if that means adding a star such as Kevin Love and sending that pick elsewhere, so be it.