2. Jabari Parker
The most popular thing to do around NBA Draft time is to give player comparisons. Analysts have been throwing out some hefty comparisons this year. Hakeem Olajuwon has been dropped casually a few too many times. The comparisons that come to mind with Jabari Parker have been flattering to say the least. He has heard everything from Paul Pierce to Carmelo Anthony to even Grant Hill. Pierce and Anthony are some of the clutchest players in recent NBA history. There is a reason for this.
If this draft had superlatives, Parker would be given most likely to lead the class in scoring. He can score from anywhere on the floor. His freshman year for Duke was reminiscent of Longhorn Kevin Durant. If it were not for the multitude of scoring threats with him at Duke, he very well could have put up identical stats. The craziest part about him is that on offense at the NBA level, he may have the capability of playing both forward spots. This is an NBA coach’s dream. Parker projects to be the ultimate mismatch and there is no doubt that asset will be utilized in crunch time.
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1. Shabazz Napier
Coming into the league with two rings screams winner. There is nothing about Shabazz Napier that NBA teams have to worry about. This guy has proven himself as much as possible. Not only has he been a role player on a championship team, but he also got experience of putting one on his back. He is the consummate late game player. He does not back down from taking the last shot.
Kemba Walker carved out the path for Napier and has continued to run with it. He is still hitting buzzer-beaters in the NBA and there is no reason Napier will not either. As a matter of fact, CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander did a side-by-side comparison between Kemba and Shabazz and even argued that they may be equals in the clutch department. Give him the right team and Shabazz has a chance to be the fourth quarter conqueror of the NBA.
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At the NBA combine, there are a lot of measurements taken. You can find out everything from how wide a player’s hands are to how high they can jump without taking a step. But this is only part of the puzzle. There are a lot of categories on NBA evaluations that cannot be measured numerically. You cannot simply put a number on a player’s off-the-court decision-making or chemistry with teammates.
One category you certainly cannot project with measurements is the ability to perform in crunch time. There are a handful of guys in this year’s draft who have the potential to be knocking down buzzer-beaters a few years down the line.
Check the top five players who project to have the “clutch factor” in this year’s NBA Draft.
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