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Boston Celtics 2012 Draft Targets: Jared Sullinger

(Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Jared Sullinger: 20 years old; 6’9″; 268 lbs

School: Ohio State

Position: Power Forward

Background:

 Sullinger led Ohio State to the NCAA Final Four this past winter as a Sophmore. In his freshman season Sullinger turned heads by branding himself as a hard nosed forward capable of rebounding against anyone. Sullinger energetic post-game is aided by his incredibly soft touch around the rim and his consistent jump shot. Sullinger projected to be a top-5 pick in the weak 2011 draft, but chose to return to Ohio State to chase an NCAA title. In 2012 Sullinger was a projected lottery pick until concerns about the health of his back caused his stock to slide.

Does he fit the Celtics?

Depends. The Celtics need size, but with Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass possibly looking to return to the team and JaJuan Johnson waiting for his turn, they might be better off chasing a true center. On the other hand Sullinger is a lottery talent whose rebounding prowess would be a welcome talent on the Celtics. If Sullinger is available it will be hard for the Celtics to pass on him even if their plan is to resign both Garnett and Bass.

Odds Sullinger is in Celtic green next season: 20%

Sullinger is a lottery talent whose ceiling is somewhere between Brandon Bass and Kevin Love. Health problems or not, Sullinger is worth a risk in the late lottery to mid-first round. In the past, players like DeJuan Blair and Danny Granger have seen their stocks similarly slide due to pre-existing health conditions only to go on to have very productive NBA careers. Sullinger is probably gone before the Celtics pick, but he definitely won’t get past them he slides that far.

Final Thoughts:

Sullinger’s teams went 63-11 in his two years at Ohio State and went deep into the NCAA tournament both years. Rajon Rondo is obsessed with winning, so it makes sense for Danny Ainge to surround him with winners. Sullinger is a winner.

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