One of me and JB’s favorite forms of philanthropy is the celebrity car wash. Obviously we aren’t going to fool anyone into thinking we’re famous without a bit of a makeover. To achieve that ‘celebrity look’ all you have to do is rent a minivan old enough to still have a tape deck, hire a dozen or so hourly day laborers, and borrow your parents/grandparents circa 1980s shoulder mounted video camera. Now just find a Walmart parking lot with access to water and you have almost everything you need. I say almost because you still need to stick out from your newly created entourage. A pair of henna sleeves representing as many religions as possible and as much costume jewelry as weight you can squat is all you will need to complete the look. Once you’re set up with everything you need to start the car wash borrow a cassette tape from one of your laborers, swing those double rear doors open, and crank it up to 11. Just don’t forget to make sure your documentarian is recording it all.
We don’t do it for charity per se but I’m sure what we do is still called philanthropy. You see we don’t charge money either. We do it for the sheer pleasure our performances gives others. Although, we still don’t do it just for them. I know it’s the same for JB even though he doesn’t really talk about it, but I can surely say for me that once the soaps are sudsin’, the water gets flowing, and I’m dancing to the plucking of guitar strings in nothing but my pink string bikini – I feel alive! So what if my skin turns red from the sun, green from the ‘gold’, and brown from the ‘ink’, the joy, at least I think that’s joy, we see on the faces of an entire car load of Smiths can’t be washed off in a week either.
In fantasy basketball this amount of joy can only be achieved by guessing right on a rookie and being rewarded with an all-star. The two top rookies this year are unquestionably Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. Both are as talented as they come and both should receive plenty of fantasy relevant playing time immediately. You want one, I want one, everyone else we’re drafting with wants one. Before I decide if that’s going to be me I need to figure out what kind of player they are, or in a dynasty what kind of player they could become. So I give to you Wiggins v Parker, in all its hip-shaking, beard-drenched glory:
In 33 minutes per game at Kansas, Wiggins shot .448. He shot a fair amount of jump shots both in school and in Summer League and looks to be a guy who’s going to use every inch of the floor when looking for his jumper. Parker shot .471 in his 31 minutes for Duke. There were still plenty of mid/long range shots too, but Jabari has every move there is around the bucket which keeps his FG% relatively high.
Whether Wiggins starts or comes off the bench his instructions should still be the same – ‘Go do something amazing’. With 30 minutes and what should be a good volume of shots the rookie should have some rough patches with his jumper. Fortunately he’s got a pass first PG and high steals defenders around him which should lead to plenty of top 10 highlight show dunks in transition. For his first year .440 feels like a reasonable expectation. He isn’t going to help but he isn’t going to ruin the category either. In a dynasty the sky’s the limit, but it could take a few years. Since I’m forcing myself to put a number to it then Wiggins ceiling is .460-.480ish. Parker should, at the very least, get 30 minutes a night and be the #1 option in the post for the Bucks. Unfortunately he doesn’t have the benefit of a pass first PG who can get him in the right place at the right time. For this year I think the floor is about a .460 FG%, and that’s what I’m going to project. There’s a good chance Parker tops that number, he’s got all the tools to do it, I just don’t think it happens this year. In dynasty I think he’s going to eventually be a .480-.500ish guy who gives at least 1.0 3PTM per game. There aren’t too many of them.
At Kansas Wiggins shot, a very good for a rookie, .775 on 6.5 attempts. What do you think DeMar DeRozan shot at USC his freshman year? Nope. Lower, still lower… .651 on 4.2 attempts. So that proves nothing, except that Wiggins is really good at a really young age. Parker was pretty good in his own right at .748 on 6.1 attempts.
Wiggins most polished offensive game right now is the straight drive to the basket and finish. With no shortage of bigs looking to prove something to the rookie Wiggins should earn more than a few trips to the line every game. In 30 minutes 6.0 should be on the low end and I’m pegging him for a .770 FT% this year. It could be a touch higher and with the volume this should be a positive category even in his rookie season. In time this part of his game could be dominant. The potential for .800+ % and 9+ attempts is shared by few. I’m going with a .760 for Parker and ‘only’ 4.5 attempts per game. Considering he’s going to help out in boards and blocks this is still going to be a useful number. The future upside for Parker in FT% is just a smidge less than Wiggins. I’ll call it .780+ % and 7+ attempts.
Wiggins shot .341 3pt% on 3.2 attempts in college compared to Parkers .358 3pt% on 3.0 attempts. Both attempted plenty in summer league, and struggled hitting them.
This is going to be a big part of both of their games for years to come and I think both will be called upon to shoot 3s this year but it’s hard to believe either will get to 1.0 3PTM per game or about 3.0 attempts per game at .333 3pt%. Since I think Parker will do more work in the post and Wiggins will do more on the perimeter – Wiggins projects a little higher for 0.9 3PTM and Parker with 0.7 3PTM. Eventually both should easily get over 1.0 3PTM per game but I don’t think either ever breaks the 2.0 3PTM threshold. If I was betting on one to do it then my money’s on Wiggins. I’ll say eventually Parker gets to 1.2+ and Wiggins gets to 1.5+. That’s probably closer to their floor but you get my drift.
Both led their college teams in scoring and both should be asked upon by their new teams to carry a heavy load of points. Jabari scored 19.1 PPG for Duke where as Wiggins ‘only’ scored 17.1 PPG. In summer league both struggled with their shot but still managed 15ish PPG as their teams #1 option.
It’s difficult to believe either will be the #1 option right away in the NBA. Parker has less competition for shots than Wiggins but he still has to steal opportunities from O.J. Mayo and Jared Dudley. Sad part is I’m only half kidding. In my projections I put him down for 14.5 and I’m beginning to believe that could be his floor. I still don’t trust Jason Kidd’s rotations and there’s a ton of good young talent on that team trying to break out. So projecting his 14.5 PPG floor is where I’m going to stand pat. Wiggins has far more competition. Kevin Martin always seems to get his, Thaddeus Young is in a contract year and will try to show he’s deserving of all-star money, and even Nikola Pekovic will shoot a good volume for his 60 or so healthy games. 13.5 PPG is where I’ve got him but I don’t feel as confident that that is his floor this year. As for ceilings, this year they could both go for 17+ PPG, if the stars align. In future years it’s tough to put a single number down. Everyone seems to agree Parker is more NBA ready offensively, but the jury is still out as to whether he has more scoring upside or whether Wiggins will eventually pass him. For now I’m going to say that they have about the same scoring upside and I’m going to call it, 20-22+ PPG for both. OK fine, Parker still has the long term edge in points too. Prove me wrong Wiggins. Do it!
Wiggins was nothing more than an average rebounder as a freshman in college at 5.9 RPG. Can I use RPG for rebounds per game? I want to. It’s used by a few other things but here it’s going to be boards. We’ll try it out and see how it fits. Rebounding is one of Parker’s strengths and his 8.7 per game for Duke is a big number for someone with so much offensive responsibility at such a young age.
Even though Wiggins’ rebounding numbers don’t stand out he did manage 2.2 offensive boards per game which could be an unheralded part of his overall game. As a SG/SF type wing in the NBA it’s tough to rack up big rebounding numbers. Eventually he could very well give 6.0+ boards but for this year 4.7 is my RPG number. 5+ feels unreasonable to me and he’s too athletic to get anything short of 4 with 30 minutes. I think the debate between these two so far has been pretty close. Parker is going to pull away because of his rebounding. As soon as next year we could be talking about 10+ boards for Jabari. But for this year, in 30 minutes, 7.8 RPG feels… safe. Could he get 9.0+ boards this year? Maybe, but I think that will be up to Jason Kidd more than it is Jabari Parker. ‘RPG’ worked alright here and I avoided any bazooka or Final Fantasy references, but they were there and I won’t be able to avoid it forever.
Wiggins had a measly 1.5 assists per game at Kansas and Parker had 1.2 APG. It’s safe to say this isn’t a big part of either of their games. Yet.
I’m giving Parker 1.0 assists per game and Wiggins 1.2 APG for this year. It’s really tough to tell yet if either will turn into even a 3.0+ APG guy. I am however less inclined to think it’s going to be Parker. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s just that Wiggins being a perimeter player usually leads to more play-making for others. In a dynasty I think Parker at maybe 2-3ish and Wiggins at 3-4ish APG. But there is no way either are going to get close to that this year.
In college both showed good steals upside. Wiggins due to his length and athleticism managed 1.17 per game while Parker stole at, a very respectable for a big, 1.06 per game clip. Both looked just fine on this front in summer league averaging over a steal per game against D-League caliber competition.
While those two numbers seem eerily similar I think Wiggins’ steals have a better chance of carrying over. As a perimeter wing he should get more opportunities against ball handlers and once he starts jumping passing lanes this category could turn into his best. For this year I project him at 1.2 SPG. Solid yet unspectacular. I think in a year or two this number gets closer to 1.7+ SPG vaulting Wiggins into the top 15 or so in steals. Parker’s steals probably won’t reach the same heights as Wiggins but he should be a perennial 1.0+ SPG guy and this year he should get close but fall just short, I’m going to project him for 0.9 SPG.
Another category that was pretty close in college. Wiggins managed a respectable 0.97 blocks per game while Parker was a little better at 1.23 BPG. However in summer league it’s worth noting that Parker didn’t manage a single block in 5 games while Wiggins averaged 1.5 BPG in 4 games, including this one on Parker.
I believe Parker’s blocks were mostly due to his competition and I do not believe they will carry over. I look at a guy like Tristan Thompson, I think a similar build as Parker who in his 30 minute pro career only averages 0.75 BPG. Can you guess how Tristan did his freshman and only year of college? Nope higher… 2.39 BPG. For this year Parker shouldn’t have trouble getting to Tristan’s 0.7 and that’s where I’m going to project him. Eventually he could touch 1.0 BPG but if I was betting on that as the over/under for his career I’d take the under. Wiggins blocks I think will translate to the NBA. He’s just so athletic and as a big SG he’s going to be a nightmare defensively for opposing smaller guards. At SF he’s going to be quicker than most of his opponents which should also help his block numbers. For this year I think he gets to 0.9 BPG. While that seems like a lot for his position, I think it’s a major reason he’s going to see so much playing time. If you think that’s too much then you’re going to love this one, I also think he could one day get up to 1.5 BPG, from a guard!
As #1 options on college teams without great PG play both of these guys put up 2.3 TO per game. Considering their position and lack of assists, this looks like it could be a big concern and in summer league the results weren’t pretty. Wiggins had 2.7 TO per game and Parker had an obscene 5.0 TO per game.
Wiggins should develop in this category much quicker than Parker and I think it’s mostly due to having better play-makers around him, especially Ricky Rubio. Wiggins is going to have to create some offense on his own and should still turn the ball over a fair amount. I’m going to peg him for 2.4 TOs per game but I think that’s on the the high end. For his career I think it depends on the rest of his game. The more he becomes the #1 guy the more he’s going to turn the ball over, it just goes with the territory. I need a number… umm… 2.7 TO per game for his career assuming he becomes an all-star caliber player. That makes sense. Parker I’m much more worried about this year. I threw out the number 2.8 TO per game in the top 200 post but even that number might not represent how bad it could get. Parker is going to be forced to make plays for himself and it’s not always going to look like something a coach drew up. For his career I think it eventually comes down under 2.5 TO per game. Why does he get better and Wiggins worse? I think it’s because Parker will only be asked to be a scorer while Wiggins will eventually be asked to distribute a little more.
So the side-by-side projection for this year looks like this:
Parker – .460/.760/0.7/14.5/7.8/1.0/0.9/0.7/2.8 :30
Wiggins – .440/.770/0.9/13.5/4.7/1.2/1.2/0.9/2.4 :30
Jabari Parker takes FG%, PTS, and REB.
Andrew Wiggins takes FT%, 3PTM, STL, BLK, TO.
AST are a push.
In this fake 12er, H2H, 9-cat league, based off my projections, I can’t justify taking either in the 4th round (top 50). It’s worth noting that I have both down for only 30 minutes per game which would value them more in the 70’s or 80’s I would think. But if either gets 34-36 minutes then we would absolutely be justified drafting them somewhere in the 5th round (picks 49-60), and I think that’s where we can assume they should be drafted. But here’s the kicker, I don’t believe either gets to 34 minutes per game. Wiggins has competition on the wing from established NBA players (Kevin Martin, Corey Brewer) and Parker has competition from extremely high upside guys who could have breakout seasons (Giannis Antetokounmpo, John Henson).
Who we ultimately decide to draft depends on team makeup more than anything else. If points, boards, and FG% are needed than I’m taking Parker over Wiggins. If 3PTM, steals, and blocks, were what my team lacked then I would have no problem passing up Parker to take Wiggins. There’s just too many possibilities to go through them all so my advice would be that just focusing on need as opposed to individual hype is going to be the best way to decide if you’re better off drafting Parker or Wiggins.
And for a dynasty? I gave numbers for a reason, lets see what they look like side-by-side. I’m going to go ahead and average a few things to try to get single numbers instead of ranges just to make everything easier to look at.
Parker – .490/.780/1.2/22.0/10.0/2.0/1.0/1.0/2.5 :36
Wiggins – .470/.800/1.5/20.0/ 6.0/3.0/1.7/1.5/2.7 :36
Parker wins FG%, REB.
Wiggins wins FT%, 3PTM, STL, BLK.
PTS, AST, TOs are a push, or close enough.
I don’t need to say how much of a guess this all is (then why did I just say it?), but I spent quite a bit of time writing all these words and I feel strongly about every one of these numbers. Let’s say we have the 1st pick in a rookie dynasty draft and we’re trying to decided between these two and Julius Randle. After getting over whatever concussion related symptoms we were having and realizing Randle doesn’t project to be even a top 10 player from this years draft class alone we are left with just these two. I’m trying to figure out a scenario in which I would take Parker over Wiggins but I can’t think of a single one. So there you have it, 10 times out of 10 I’m taking Wiggins over Parker in a dynasty/keeper.