Jabari Parker has not made any decision about his plans for next year and will wait until the end of the season to announce his decision, his father told SNY.tv Monday evening.
“I don’t know,” Sonny told SNY.tv. “I haven’t talked to him about it yet. We [will] talk about it after the season. I don’t know who’s saying all that. I know that he hasn’t said that.”
The 6-foot-8 Parker is projected as the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com.
Sonny said he knows Sam Smith, the veteran Chicago-based reporter, who reported that “the growing view among NBA executives seems to be Jabari Parker will not leave Duke this year.”
Sonny said neither he nor anyone in his family had talked to Smith about Jabari’s plans.
“No, he hasn’t spoken to Jabari,” Sonny said. “His interviews, Coach K handles all that. I doubt if Jabari talked to Sam Smith, personally. We know our son and right now like I told everybody, including Coach K, we’ll talk about it after the season. Right now we don’t want no distractions.”
He added: “Only one person knows if he’s staying or not staying and that’s him. He will talk about it after the season. He’s gotta enjoy college right now. Anybody else is projecting and saying he’s coming out, me and my wife and my son we haven’t talked to him about it.”
Parker is averaging 19.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists at Duke.
One NBA executive said it was absurd to think that Parker wouldn’t come out.
“Please,” the exec said. “He’s going top 3 and he’s coming out. Anything to the contrary is the ramblings of someone who couldn’t fit his column inches.”
An NBA scout, however, said it could be a wise move if he stayed on campus.
“It would not be a bad move to stay because he will be a top-2 pick when he decides to leave,” the scout said.
There is reason to think Parker might entertain coming back.
He did tell SNY.tv earlier this season that he could envision teaming up with fellow Chicago native and former Mac Irvin fire teammate Jahlil Okfaor next year at Duke.
“Oh, it would be great,” Parker told me in November for this story.
“I would just work off him. A lot of attention would come up towards him and a lot of attention will come towards me, so we can work hand-in-hand with each other depending on where we are on different spots on the floor.”
In December, Okafor, the projected No. 1 pick in 2015, also told SNY.tv he’d love to play with Parker next year.
Asked how good his son and Okafor could be together next year, Sonny Parker said it was more important to focus on this year.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I think that on paper it’s [more important] how you finish than how you start….They’re good this year. They just gotta tweak a few things here and there. Those games that they lost this year were winnable games.
“They’ll be fine. They’re a young team. Their best player didn’t play last year for them. They had a real good preseason schedule and like they always say, it’s how you finish and how you peak. You want to peak at the right time. And I think they starting to get there, you know.”
He added: “I’m sure when the season is over we’ll figure this out.”