- Chad Ford, ESPN Senior Writer
CHICAGO -- The NBA draft scouting event of the year happened on Tuesday night when four of the top five teams in the country met in Chicago as part of the Champions Classic.
By my count, eight lottery picks, 13 players in our Top 30 and 17 players in our Top 50 were on the court Tuesday night. That's more than half the lottery and possibly half of the first round.
NBA GMs and scouts were out in force. Some NBA teams brought as many as five scouts to the event. While it's just the second week of the season, the reason so many talent evaluators were here was obvious. When are you going to see the elite prospects in the draft so evenly match up against their peers?
The NBA draft combine can't replicate what happened Tuesday. These days, not even the Final Four typically delivers this level of NBA talent.
So it was a big night. First impressions (while often terribly misleading) really matter.
I attended the Champions Classic on Tuesday and in addition to watching the players play, spoke with a number of NBA GMs and scouts during and after the game.
Here's a look at who helped and who hurt their draft stock on Tuesday night.
Jabari Parker, F, Duke Blue Devils
Top 100 Rank: 4
versus Kansas: 27 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 9-of-18 shooting, 4-of-7 from 3-point range, 5-of-5 on free throws in 33 minutes
No one did more to help his draft stock than Parker on Tuesday night. I don't think he'll budge on the Big Board from where he currently stands, but if there was any doubt among NBA scouts that Parker should be in the discussion for the No. 1 pick, they were erased on Tuesday night.
Parker was huge -- especially in the first half when he dropped in 19 points and six rebounds. He was scoring from all over the field. He proved to scouts he's a better athlete than he's given credit for. Most importantly, he was the unquestioned leader on this Duke team. Sure, he has some holes; he can fall in love with his perimeter game and his defense was lacking a bit at times, but Parker is getting a lot of comparisons to everyone from Carmelo Anthony to Grant Hill. He looks like a lock to go in the top 5 and a real shot at going No. 1 overall.