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Jabari Parker, one of the best players in college last season, is still deciding whether he will return to Duke for his sophomore season or make the jump to the NBA. After Mercer upset Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Parker said his college career was “incomplete.”
Parker, along with Doug McDermott of Creighton, told ESPNLA 710 in a radio interview that they would be happy to play for the Los Angeles Lakers if selected by the franchise.
“We come from the midwest where our weather is kind of terrible, so being here would be a blessing,” Parker said. “You don’t have any excuse not to work out at any time of day. It would be a very great opportunity.”
While Parker is unsure of what he will decide, money will not be a major factor, as Parker stated. He averaged 19.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and shot 50.3 percent from the field this season. Parker plans to meet with Krzyzewski soon to discuss the situation and come to a final decision before next week’s Tuesday deadline. If Parker does declare for the draft, he could potentially be taken first overall. Earlier this week, there was a rumor that Parker had applied for sophomore housing at Duke, but he refuted that report on SportsNation saying “that’s a lie.”
If Parker returns to Duke, he will join a star-studded incoming class of recruits, including Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Grayson Allen. Jones, who has been writing a Team USA diary, recently wrote that he’s looking forward to playing with Parker in the fall, which has some people thinking that Parker is leaning toward returning to college for his sophomore season.
Freid Hoiberg has experienced a great deal of success at Iowa State, especially this past season, going 28-8 and advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16. The NBA has taken notice and rumors have recently connected Hoiberg to teams like the New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves among others. Hoiberg played 10 seasons in the NBA, two of which were with the Timberwolves, and in 2006 he joined the Timberwolves front office.
It sounds like Hoiberg is content staying at Iowa State, so there’s no guarantee that he’ll be jumping to the NBA. Hoiberg’s buyout price remains the same despite the bump-up in salary. If he takes a coaching position with another college program, he will owe Iowa State $2 million. If he moves to the NBA, he will owe the university $500,000.
It’s interesting that Iowa State did not insist on raising Hoiberg’s buyout rate to go to the NBA considering the recent speculation and the university’s decision to increase his salary. Given the relatively low buyout number, expect rumors connecting Hoiberg to vacant coaching positions in the NBA to continue.
Last week, it was reported by the New York Post that New York Knicks team president Phil Jackson met with Lamar Odom at halftime during the recent Knicks-Nets game. It was unclear at the time whether the meeting was personal or an initial step toward signing Odom.
This latest report from ESPN indicates that Jackson is interested in finding out how much Odom has left in the tank and whether he can be a piece for next year’s roster. According to Stein, the Knicks may offer a contract with a team option for next year to allow the Knicks to work with Odom during the offseason. This shows that the Knicks want Odom to prove throughout the offseason that he is focused and worth keeping on for next season.
While Odom’s best days are behind him, he is still an intriguing player when engaged. This potential acquisition suggests that Jackson will look to implement the Triangle Offense next season, the system that Odom played in during the best years of his career.
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