Julius Randle vs. Jabari Parker: NBA Draft Prospect Match Up

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Basketball Skills

Julius Randle is more of a traditional power forward.  He likes to post up on the right side of the block.  He has great post-footwork; face-up, spin move, up-and-under, and a turnaround jumpshot.  He’s able to use his quickness and get high percentage shots 10′ and in.  His midrange game needs work, but he shoots free throws at a 73% clip, so there is potential there.  He has a soft touch in the paint and uses it to score over multiple defenders.  There have been games where he has put an entire front line in foul trouble due to his paint play.  Defensively, he’s more of a position defender.  He doesn’t have the initial explosiveness of Parker, but does have the ability to finish above the rim.  More importantly, he fights for post position, rotates well to shooters, and can switch out to guards on pick-and-roll situations if necessary.  Coaches would be proud to have that kind of fundamental defense being played by a freshman at the NCAA player, nevermind a rookie NBA player.

Jabari Parker implements guard skills and a post up game.  His post game isn’t refined, but he uses solid footwork to create space and create a shot within the context of his abilities.  He shoots a great percentage in the post.  He’s a devastating perimeter shooter.  It is NBA level ready, now, up to the NBA 3-point line.  While the trajectory is a bit flat; he has a compact form and great follow-through.  More importantly, he seems equally effective from catch-and-shoot situations, off-the-dribble, or pulling up from mid-drive, going either left or right.  This draws Paul Pierce-like comparisons from the perimeter.  Defensively, there is a lot to work on.  Most players compensate lateral quickness with great wingspan or strength.  What Randle has in spades, Parker hasn’t shown yet.  He gets beat by sub-par NBA level players defensively.  What he does use best is his leg strength.  In terms of team defense, he explodes up to contest shots, go for the shot block with surprising effectiveness, and grab defensive rebounds.  Still, he doesn’t show the motor or desire to fight players in the paint, contest out to perimeter shooters, or contain dribble penetration, regardless of the position he is defending.