Wednesday, November 26, 2014 Headlines & Global News

NBA Draft 2014 Rumors: Jabari Parker Staying 2 More Years At Duke, Not Declaring For Draft Until 2016

By Jordan Webb j.webb@hngn.com | Jan 21, 2014 10:25 AM EST

Jabari Parker, Duke
Will Jabari Parker be the first overall pick of the 2014 NBA draft on Thursday? (Photo : Reuters)

Duke freshman Jabari Parker reportedly won't declare for the upcoming 2014 NBA draft.  Parker may choose to play on a strong Duke basketball team for the next two years with incoming freshman Jahlil Okafor, Sam Smith of Bulls.com reports.

Parker is emerging as the potential No. 1 overall pick for the upcoming draft.  Despite the near certainty of being at least a top three pick, Parker is reportedly giving serious thought to remaining at Duke for a chance at winning championships.

"...The growing view among NBA executives seems to be Jabari Parker will not leave Duke this year," Smith wrote on Monday.  "Chicagoan Jahlil Okafor, a Parker friend and big man, is going to Duke next season.  Parker is a bright young man with a strong family and the feeling is he understands both the importance of education and feels he owes Duke and the chance to have a great Duke team, which more than likely is the next two seasons.

"Plus, Parker has seen what staying in school has done for other greats compared with the tough starts for even stars like Kobe Bryant."

Next season's Duke roster already looks like a championship-caliber team.  In addition to Okafor, one of the top prospects in the nation, the Blue Devils have commitments from Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow.

Parker playing a third year at Duke is likely contingent on how the team does next season, assuming he returns.  If Duke wins a championship, Parker and his teammates may choose to do what Florida players did in 2006-07 and play another year together for a shot at winning back-to-back titles.

Parker is averaging 19.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.  Duke (14-4) visits the Miami Hurricanes on Wednesday.

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