Sullinger's draft stock took a major hit after it was revealed that he had been medically red-flagged by NBA doctors, who were worried about the health of his back. Sullinger missed two games for the Buckeyes in early December because of back spasms, and doctors for several teams are concerned that the issue could shorten his playing career.
Although there are few certainties surrounding the situation right now, the doctors' warning has apparently scared off multiple teams.
Sullinger was projected to be a lottery pick just a few weeks ago, but NBA executive vice president Stu Jackson said the league doesn't expect Sullinger to be drafted in the Top 15. That means he won't be receiving an invite to the green room at Newark's Prudential Center, and consequently not shaking hands with commissioner David Stern on draft day.
This is an unfortunate announcement for Sullinger, but he appears to be using it as motivation. Within the last hour, he has re-tweeted several of his critics on Twitter, who have laughed at him, called him a "bum" and said other things that I won't repeat here.
After the series of re-tweets, Sullinger sent out this message:
I guess I got another ladder to climb. It's nothing new same ole SULLY— Jared Sullinger (@Jared_Sully0) June 25, 2012
As a neutral observer, I'm glad Sullinger is using these setbacks as fuel for his competitive fire. He is a highly skilled post player, and although he struggles against long and athletic big men, he will still be able to contribute in the NBA.
Sullinger averaged 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game last season, while leading Ohio State to the Final Four. He is currently projected to fall into the late teens or early 20s of the first round.