Jared Sullinger and 5 Frontcourt Prospects Too Small to Survive in NBA

Matt Shetler@@buccos12Correspondent IJune 20, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31:  Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts after the Buckeyes lose to the Kansas Jayhawks 64-62 during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 31, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

A couple of inches in height can determine whether or not an NBA frontcourt prospect will have the same success they did in college once they reach the NBA.

Playing against bigger and stronger players on a nightly basis can lead to troubles for most guys who measure smaller than teams would initially hope for.

Here's a look at five frontcourt prospects who measured too small to survive in the NBA.

All measurements are via nbadraft.net.


Jared Sullinger, Ohio State (6'9", wingspan 7'1.25")

Sullinger measured 6'9", which isn't that bad, but when you add in the fact that he's not very athletic and struggled during the season against bigger and more athletic defenders, it isn't the recipe for success in the NBA.

I am a fan of Sullinger's post game, but I have doubts how that translates well to the NBA.

If he were much bigger than the opposition he will be facing in the NBA, then I would like his chances much better, but I could see Sullinger becoming a Corliss Williamson-type of player in the NBA, someone who is functional but won't ever become a star.


Thomas Robinson, Kansas (6'8.75", wingspan 7'3.25")

I absolutely love Robinson's game, and while he's almost certain to be a top-five pick, his size is worrisome.

He measured bigger than initially thought, but he's still under 6'9", which could give him problems.

Unlike Sullinger, Robinson is a great athlete and has a huge wingspan, which could give him an advantage in the NBA. But his measurements are similar to Derrick Williams, last year's No. 2 overall pick, and we saw Williams struggle as a rookie.


Drew Gordon, New Mexico (6'8.75", wingspan 6'11.5")

Gordon could have been a sleeper to sneak into the first round, but he measured under 6'9" and doesn't have a wingspan that tops 7'0."

He's got a nice mid-range game, and while his post game wasn't a strength to begin with, Gordon should struggle playing the 4 against NBA competition.


Draymond Green, Michigan State (6'7.5", wingspan 7'1.25")

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 09:  Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans drives for a shot attempt in the first half against the Iowa Hawkeyes during their quarterfinal game of 2012 Big Ten Men's Basketball Conferene Tournament at Bankers Life Fiel
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Green is a guy that could play the 3 or the 4, but while I like his overall game, I have major concerns over his height.

Who is he going to guard in the NBA?

He's not big enough to play the 4 and likely not quick enough to play the 3. While he's a guy who did a lot of things well in college, Green is going to have trouble doing the same in the NBA.


Kevin Jones, West Virginia (6'7.5", wingspan 7'1.25")

Jones is talented, but he's not a 3 in the NBA and is too small to play the 4.

He's a guy that went from a likely early-second-round pick to possibly a late-second-rounder. Jones is a good rebounder and has a soft touch around the rim, but now he will be going against bigger and longer defenders.

I see him struggling to produce in the NBA.