In this year's NBA Draft, Jared Sullinger may become the new Dejuan Blair. Just a year ago, Sullinger was a lock to be in the top six, before he surprisingly opted to stay in school for another year. That decision may prove to be costly now. Not only did Ohio State under perform this year, but Sullinger is now being plagued by back problems.
Doctors recently diagnosed Sullinger with a bad back and believe that it could shorten his NBA playing career.
In response, Sullinger’s father and agent are trying to downplay the situation as much as possible.
David Falk says, "Jared has consulted with one of the foremost specialists of backs and spines, who has vast experience treating professional athletes. He has explained to us that Jared had extremely tight hamstrings that became tight because he had suffered an injury - that I don't think he was aware of - to his hamstring. He needs to maintain a vigilance with his flexibility. And if he does that, and keeps his weight at an appropriate level, then he should have absolutely no problems over the next 15 years."
Sullinger has been in the NBA combine getting measured, timed, and tested for all sorts of sports analytics. Scouts use these numbers to gauge how effective a player may be in the NBA. Having said that, they're just numbers. And sometimes numbers do lie.
The fact of the matter is, there are some students that are great at taking tests, but still end up getting bad grades because of work ethic, discipline, etc. And then there are students who are terrible test takers, but end up getting good grades because of all their hard work. Sullinger is part of the latter group. After testing below par on some of the stations, Sullinger said, "I'm not a testing type of guy. I'm a basketball player."
Jared Sullinger may not have the right testing results or body type to be a franchise type of player, but he is the type of player that can bring a mediocre team into the playoffs; something that most rookies will not be able to say.