Tale of the Tape: Parker vs. Wiggins

The NBA Draft is Thursday night, and for the second year in a row the Cleveland Cavaliers have the top overall pick. Joel Embiid was the likely number one pick, but a foot injury has dropped his stock. Now it looks like the Cavs have the choice narrowed down to two candidates: Duke’s Jabari Parker and Embiid’s teammate at Kansas, Andrew Wiggins. Both are small forwards, making the choice that much more difficult.

Jabari Parker
Andrew Wiggins
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/ Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/ Getty Images
Parker stands at 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot wingspan. But reports say his weight has ballooned to 254 lbs., about 15-20 more than his listed weight at Duke.
Winner At 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot wingspan, Wiggins is nearly identical to Parker in height. But at 197 lbs., Wiggins has no questions about his fitness/athleticism.
Scouting Report
Winner Has unreal offensive talent. Has the size to work on the block, while the handles of a guard. Can score from anywhere, but has occasionally poor shot selection. A liability on defense, but he is still NBA-ready.
Has crazy athleticism. Offensively he can explode to the rim, but he’s passive and inconsistent at best. Questions on if he has the “killer instinct.” Defense is pretty good for an offense-first player.
College Stats
Winner Stormed onto the scene, averaging 23.6 points and 8.7 rebounds on 60% shooting his first seven games at Duke. On the year shot 47%, while adding a block per game on defense.
Averaged 17.1 points (on 45% shooting + 34% on 3s) and 5.9 rebounds a game.
Pre-Draft Workout
Multiple reports claim Parker tanked last week’s workout with Cleveland because he prefers Milwaukee (who holds the #2 pick). Tanking or not, he looked winded and did not shoot well.
Winner The Cavs’ front office was impressed with what they saw from Wiggins last week. His shooting was improved and he passed every test.
Better Fit
Parker has the makings of a player who needs the ball. Will Kyrie Irving give up those touches? Cavs also need defensive help, which he will not provide. If they need him to be a true small forward, could face problems.
Winner Will not need to be a key cog on offense in Year One. Parker may be a better player next season, but down the line Wiggins could thrive if he’s used properly. More of a true small forward, he can play pressure defense and get out in transition.

The Winner Is

Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/ Getty Images
Winner Andrew Wiggins
3 out of 5

Final Verdict: Andrew Wiggins (3 of 5) The Cavs can’t really go wrong with either player. But given the team’s future – with the dynamic Kyrie Irving, pursuing LeBron James and a need for defense – going with Wiggins seems the safest choice at number one.


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