Jared Sullinger Injury: Reported Back Issues Should Drop Sully to 2nd Round
Jared Sullinger already made me nervous as a potential draft pick, but now that doctors have given him a red flag for his back, there is no way I'd draft him in the first round.
That combination screams high risk and low upside. What general manager in his right mind would sign off on selecting him in the first round?
Fans better hope that the head man for their team isn't the answer to that question.
Many use the DeJuan Blair comparison as an example of how the doctors can lead teams astray. Blair received a terrible doctor's note back in 2009. Doctors scared off teams when they reported that Blair had no ACLs in either knee.
Blair was subsequently taken in the second round by the Spurs with the 37th pick overall. He is similar to Sullinger in that he is considered a little undersized but is strong and has long arms.
Knowing what you know about DeJuan Blair, where do you think Jared Sullinger should be drafted?
Blair has been productive (8.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game) in his three-year career and, for the most part, injury-free (he's only missed three games in three years).
But you know what? I don't care; it was still the right spot for him to be drafted.
First-round picks mean guaranteed money and a bigger financial investment. It doesn't make sense to draft a guy like Blair or Sullinger in the first round. If they had higher ceilings, even as healthy players, then maybe that would change the dynamics.
Perhaps you roll the dice in the first round on a player that has the potential to be special. You don't do that for a player that will be average to slightly above average at best.
Cheers to the Spurs for drafting a solid contributor in the second round, but I wouldn't be upset if I were any of the 30 teams that passed on Blair. The same would be the case if Sullinger proves his medical naysayers wrong.
The risk is not worth the reward.
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