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Please Slap Anyone Who Thinks Jared Sullinger Will Be Kevin Love in the NBA

Love Jared Sullinger as a college basketball player. He’s a nice low-post player with a feathery touch. I think if he had stayed four years he could have been an all-time great in the annals of Ohio State basketball.

(If Jerry Lucas is 1st, and John Havlicek is 2nd, I don’t see why after four years Sullinger couldn’t have finished No. 3, ahead of Jim Jackson, Michael Redd, Herb Williams and Evan Turner.)

That said, I’m not sure Sullinger will be nearly that dominant at the NBA level. The OSU sophomore announced today he’s entering to the NBA draft. Anyone who compares him to Kevin Love – who is averaging 26.5 points and 13.6 rebounds per game, and probably will be 3rd in MVP voting this year – cannot be trusted to operate a vehicle or a computer. There is absolutely no chance it happens.

It’ll be interesting to see how Sullinger measures this summer before the draft. He’s listed at 6-9, 265. I’d guess he’s closer to 6-foot-7. Besides his struggles against college centers (see the Final 4 game against Jeff Withey of Kansas) and physical teams (check out this numbers against bruising Michigan State), I didn’t love his defense against the pick-and-roll. He uses his width and smarts to devour rebounds, but in the pros, it isn’t going to be that easy going against taller and more physical players. Sullinger didn’t significantly improve from his freshman to sophomore year (unless injuries were an issue?) making me wonder if he’s going to get better in the pros.

Sullinger will be a first-round pick because he can score, but ultimately, I envision him as a DeJuan Blair-type player who comes off the bench, plays 20-25 minutes a night and averages about 10 points a game for 8-9 years. Which is all very good and well and he’ll make a lot of money and be set for life … I just don’t see him in Kevin Love’s solar system.

I’ve got Sullinger going 12th in my latest mock draft.

 

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