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Everything Boston Is Dreaming Of Faced Off In Chicago Last Night

 

What would YOU do to acquire one of these guys?

There are going to be a lot of opinions floating around about NBA prospects Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Jabari Parker after all three played in the Champions Classic last night in Chicago. Those who had only heard of Wiggins got a nice preview of why the springy Canadian isn’t the only player teams are tanking for this year. Those who know things about college basketball will correctly point out that for each of the players, it was one (admittedly important) game.

But man. There is a LOT of potential to go around. Who do you prefer?

Do you prefer the size? Strength? An enormous body with soft hands, a back-to-the-basket post game on either block and a handle in transition? A player who will automatically toughen up your front court defense while simultaneously adding a deadly, versatile weapon on offense? Then you want Randle, Kentucky’s power(ful) forward who torched second-ranked (but soon to be top-ranked) Michigan State for 27 points on 14 field goal attempts, grabbing 13 rebounds in the loss.

Do you prefer the complete package? A talented 6’8 small forward who has deadly 3-point range and incredible ball-handling in transition? Someone who isn’t afraid to drive to the basket but is equally comfortable pulling the trigger from long range? Someone already drawing comparisons to a young Paul Pierce? An athletic defender capable of doing this?

!!!

Then you want Parker, Duke’s small forward with the 6’11 wingspan, capable of shooting over anyone in college basketball and confident enough to make it happen. According to people who know about such things, one of the most attractive aspects of Parker’s game is his attitude — He’s rumored to be an incredible locker room presence who cares deeply both about the team and about winning. His 4th-ranked Duke Blue Devils fell to 5th-ranked Kansas last night, but that was no fault of Jabari’s: He finished with 27 points and nine rebounds.

Parker would have had more points if he hadn’t been picked up defensively by our last candidate. Do you prefer flash? Do you prefer elite athleticism, the likes of which we haven’t seen in years? Do you prefer a player who can look down into the rim when he leaps, but who also begs his coach to put him on the other team’s best offensive player? Do you want someone with an explosive first step and a dizzying spin move?

Then you want Wiggins, and you are not alone. This year’s consensus no. 1 pick (right now), Wiggins has been called many things including “franchise-changing,” “the best prospect since LeBron,” and “a bust” (which seems a bit premature, given that he’s still a college player, but this IS the internet, and I digress). He is, perhaps, a high-risk high-reward candidate, but it’s hard to argue with the way he defended Parker and the athleticism he brings to the table.

So what does this mean for the (ATLANTIC-DIVISION-LEADING-4TH-SEED-IF-THE-PLAYOFFS-STARTED-RIGHT-NOW) Celtics? Very little, at the moment. There’s a lot of season left to be played, both for Boston and for the prospects. They will have a chance to develop and showcase themselves all season while the Celtics will figure out what kind of team they actually are.

If Boston does end up with a top 3 pick, and if we assume they take one of these players with it (not a given, especially with Kansas big man Joel Embiid looming on most draft boards), someone will probably have to go. Parker and Wiggins plays the same position as Jeff Green, while Julius Randle would take either Olynyk’s or Sullinger’s place. But again, that’s so speculative and far in the future, it’s almost foolish to write.

So instead of leaving you with the last paragraph, I’ll leave you with these highlight videos to help you choose your favorite prospect. Enjoy!

Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.

  • CelticsBIG3

    From just what I saw last night, Parker is the guy; but after all I'm a Pierce guy

  • High Rollers

    I saw Parker do most of his stuff without Wiggins on him. With Wiggins on him, he wasn't nearly as spectacular. This doesn't make a lot of sense if he's got 20+ lbs. on AW. Unless AW is just ridiculously talented at disrupting, which definitely appeared to be the case in this game.

    Wiggins, on the other hand, faced not only the coverage of Parker but quite a few double teams. His teammates benefited greatly from his mere presence on the floor. Whether this was Duke overplaying him, time will tell.

    Parker's decision-making and execution was the most impressive thing about his game last night. (Stephen A. Smith had the right word… poise.) But Wiggins looks to be able to move at the speed of light. Who's directing the traffic in his head will be the biggest question for him and whoever jumps on his coattails down the road. When it came down to it, he was operating "FTW" last night. Wiggins for the Win.

    Missed Randle's game. But as for bigs, Embiid was indeed very impressive.

  • High Rollers

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKcmDfhwrAI

    See. This is what this cat, I mean Jayhawk, can do… make an excellent decision maker, Parker, who's a scintilla less athletic foul out and look foolish on a nano-second late block attempt. And that pretty much decided the game right there. In a blink.

    May be just one college game, but that play said a lot. Any scout who downplays Wiggins is pulling somebody's leg. Especially don't believe it when it comes from Bill Self. He'll wink as soon as you turn around.

  • High Rollers

    Last thing…. Wiggins looks to me like a cross between Ticket and Jeff Green. Which is a bit of a head scratcher.

  • Banner18

    I want all three

    • High Rollers

      Second that. Plus Embiid.

      But really, if the C's are going to sneak into the playoffs, which wouldn't be that hard in this conference these days, my true wish would be to see Rondo come back full strength and help us upset you know who as the 8 seed against the 1 seed. That's only if Danny truly isn't intending to tank, of course.

      The future is cloudy but silver linings abound.

  • Snow

    I dont think Randle will be a good pro. He is 6'9" and doesnt look that athletic. If I had to take one today it would be Parker. If we need a big then I would go with Embiid over Randle.

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