Jared Sullinger spent the past two seasons killing college basketball, but in the past month a so-so performance at the NBA combine and a serious back issue have pushed him further down teams’ draft boards. But where other NBA general managers smell concern, Danny Ainge smells opportunity. (Fox Sports Ohio)
Jared Sullinger has been red-flagged by NBA doctors, who cited concerns with his back, and most GMs feel that it will, in fact, cause his draft stock to slide. Sullinger’s lack of overall athleticism already had created some doubts, and perceived medical issues certainly won’t help. That said, the Celtics reportedly wouldn’t mind giving him a shot, and might look to trade up (if necessary) to do so. Right now, they own the Nos. 21 and 22 picks in the first round.
Sullinger is a big man (check) with offensive skill (check) who’s proven (check) and rebounds the basketball (check). Yes, Sullinger fits the mold for which Boston should be looking in the NBA Draft. He would have been a top five pick after his freshman season and was slightly better as a sophomore. His medical issues are troublesome, but if they cause him to drop long enough and don’t ruin his career, some team is going to find a late steal.
But let’s be honest. Somehow, he’s going to drop to the San Antonio Spurs and Gregg Popovich will turn him into a starter within two years. It’s impossible to avoid fate.