Someone had to take him. Jared Sullinger, the low flying yet capable big from Ohio State, continued to fall down the draft board.
At one time, Sullinger was considered to be a top 5 pick and second to only Harrison Barnes going into this year. Then came Anthony Davis, Thomas Robinson, and well…20 other players, that were all taken before Sullinger.
Issues regarding both Sullinger’s knee and his conditioning led teams to pass on him. But what teams passed on may end up being a gift wrapped All-Star for the C’s. Players do fall for a reason, but often times when they do, they still hold the same potential that caused them to be projected much higher earlier on.
Sullinger could be such a case. Or he could be a bust. It’s hard to call a gamble in the late first round a bust though, so Danny Ainge’s choice made sense. He’s going to have a big body capable of being a big time NBA player. Sullinger has drawn comparisons to Carlos Boozer, and Boozer himself was a SECOND round pick. Undersized big men are often slept on, but if Sullinger’s performance at Ohio State was any indication, his skill set should render him an effective NBA big man. He can hit mid range jumpers, put it on the floor, and he moves surprisingly well for a player of his size and weight.
Realistically, there are indeed a lot of question marks: Can Sullinger remain healthy? Can he condition himself well enough to play big minutes? Can he over come his lack of size?
These questions are what caused him to fall, but the Celtics knew that someone was going to have to take that gamble, and with rebuilding a likely prospect for the C’s, gaining some talent that could develop into something promising down the road seemed the way to go.