PLAYER: Jared Sullinger (Power Forward - Ohio St. Buckeyes)
DRAFTED: No. 21 Overall, First Round, Boston Celtics.
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: Six feet, nine inches/268 pounds.
BIRTHDAY: March 4, 1992 (Age: 20)
WINGSPAN: Seven feet, 1.25 inches.
NBA COMBINE RESULTS: No step vertical - 29.5. Maximum vertical - 31. Bench Press - 9. Agility - 12.77. Sprint - 3.81.
SCOUTING REPORT: Sullinger excels in the post, and he consistently punished opposing interior defenses during his collegiate career. Likely won't burn you in the mid-range and three-point game, but possesses some jump shooting ability. Big concern is athleticism, as well as the back injuries that caused NBA doctors to red flag him before this year's draft.
COMPARISONS: At best, Luis Scola. At worst, Glen Davis (from Draft Express).
KEY STATS: Sullinger played in 74 of 76 possible games during his Ohio State tenure and averaged nearly 17 points and ten rebounds in each of his two seasons. Sullinger nearly averaged a double-double in his sophomore campaign this past season, posting averages of 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds while shooting 51.9 percent from the field and blocking 1.1 shots per game. During his freshman year, Sullinger averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 boards.
CAREER HIGHS: Points - 40 points vs. IUPUI. Rebounds - 19 vs. South Carolina.
WHAT HE SAID: Quote(s) directly from Sullinger are provided below.
"This (not being invited to the draft, being picked low) still tells me I'm not a good enough player yet. They told me I wasn't good enough, now it's time to work." (via ESPN Boston)
"Don't worry about what you [people] tell you can't do. Go out and just do what you always do." (via Sullinger on Twitter)
Sullinger's best quality is his court intelligence. His basketball IQ is mature beyond his years and his ability to find the open teammate to generate easy offense usually takes longer for a player of his skill set to develop; he's pretty much already there. Along the same lines, he's great at positioning himself (not unlike Kevin Love) and getting rebounds by reading shots and angles better than most. This is to make up for his lack of natural athleticism, which as well regarded, is easily the worst part of his game.
Sullinger was a force on campus from the first day he stepped on campus. Not unlike Greg Oden before him, guys like that instantly make a teams ceiling another round in the NCAAs. He commanded double teams virtually from his first trip down the court and was able to take over games in ways that few modern collegiate big men can.
I think Boston is a great opportunity for him. They're not a particularly fast team which works out well given that Sully isn't particularly fleet of foot. I think if Rondo develop a rapport, it's possible he could be a 10/8 type guy pretty early on in his NBA career. I think he can make an immediate impact and be a rotation guy for the Celtics while growing into NBA life and continuing to improve (health permitting).
I think worst case scenario, Boston gets 5-6 solid seasons out of Sullinger. He'll be like a rangier Glen Davis meets Kenny Thomas and should be a reliable starting 4 (though probably not an all-star) for as long as he's physically able.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers - "Obviously, we needed to address height. The fact that Jared Sullinger fell to us is just fortunate. Last year he would have been a top five pick. All year he was a top-10 pick. The fact that he kept falling to us gives us a rebounder, high IQ player, great passer, and a very good shooter from the outside, gives us some physical force." (via Boston Globe)
EXPECTATION: Sullinger will have work to do in order to secure minutes on this Celtics team, provided Kevin Garnett returns. However, he will likely stick around on the active roster for most of his rookie season, barring injury. If the injury worries are for naught, and if he can stay healthy, Sullinger could become a mainstay at the forward position in Boston.