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Jared Sullinger’s back issues, if true, probably push him well out Pistons’ range

Chad Ford of ESPN:

Ohio State Buckeyes big man Jared Sullinger has been medically red flagged by NBA doctors, multiple league sources told ESPN.com on Monday.

Sullinger, who is projected to be a lottery pick in the 2012 NBA draft, underwent a series of medical tests at the NBA draft combine a week ago. According to sources, the doctors who looked at Sullinger were concerned with Sullinger’s back.

A number of NBA team doctors have reviewed the information from the NBA and have told their front office staff that Sullinger’s back issues could shorten his NBA career and some have advised their teams not to draft him in the first round.

If this is true – and the reporting here rises above the typical pre-draft smokescreens – Jared Sullinger is likely all but eliminated as a candidate for the No. 9 pick.

How far would Sullinger fall? Ford has the Ohio State power forward lasting until No. 20 in his latest mock draft, and his latest chat, Ford provides further rationale:

Grumpy (Cleveland)

Where does Jared Sullinger fall to

Chad Ford  (3:17 PM)

No idea yet. Lots of concern from team doctors based on the physical. But every team’s medical staff looks at these things differently. And different GMs have different risk tolerances. Sullinger’s camp is adamant that this isn’t a serious issue. But I’ve spoken with around a dozen GMs who believe it MIGHT be based on what their docs are telling them. My guess is he slides out of the Top 10 … but how far? Depends on how comfortable team doctors get with what Sullinger’s personal physician and agent is saying. I’ve seen this go both ways. Sometimes red flags don’t have much of an impact at all. Sometimes they have a devastating impact. More often, with top players however, it’s the latter. DeJuan Blair is the most recent example. But this happened to Danny Granger too a few years ago. He slipped from a top 5 pick into the late teens.

After the Pistons went for the wrong DaJuan in 2009, maybe this is their chance to land the draft’s big injury risk in the second round. I’m not a big Sullinger fan (even before I consider his college), but in the second round, he’d be an incredible pick.


  • Jun 19, 20126:25 pm
    by Shawn


    Who did the pistons get in chad ford’s latest mock draft?

  • Jun 19, 20127:39 pm
    by Eric Musu


    Chad has us drafting John Henson.

    At this point I would assume the Pistons will draft a big, either Henson or Zeller.  I would draft Zeller due to the fact he can block shots as well, is decent offensively.  With Henson he is a terrible free throw shooter, doesn’t have a developed offensive game, may or may not get pushed around in the Post, so basically we would be praying he could be Ben Wallace.

    Play it safe, we know what were getting with Zeller.  Outside chance they draft Jeremby Lamb SG - he is my favorite player in the draft – he has star potential.  I wish they could gain another pick, draft a big and Lamb.

    As it stands Pistons should draft Zeller, Start PG Knight SG Stuckey SF Prince PF Monroe C Zeller

    Unless the Pistons make some type of trades.     

  • Jun 19, 20128:43 pm
    by Mark


    ^I think John Henson has incriminating pictures of Chad Ford. Only reason I can think as to why he puts him with us EVERY mock draft.

    That or he’s just trolling all of us Pistons fans who don’t want Henson.

    On Sullinger, no way he’s still on the board in the 2nd round. Because all of those contenders in the late first always need a low post scoring big. And they don’t care if he may only paly 5 yrs in the league, because they are in win now mode anyways. I think the farthest he’ll go is BOS at 21 or 22.

  • Jun 19, 201211:18 pm
    by Haan


    Sullinger will do well for someone, a la the two examples given of Blair and Granger.  Around 20 he’d be a steal.  That said, I hope the latest health rumor/news seals the Pistons passing on him at 9 due to the compatibility with Monroe issue.

  • Jun 20, 20127:24 am
    by Mr BlockedShot


    If Sullinger is available by the time we pick our last second-rounder it’s ok for me to give it a try with him. But no way we waste our two first picks on a guy which remains a question mark in terms of health…

  • Jun 20, 201210:14 am
    by Gurman


    I really don’t see what is wrong with Henson. He rebounds, blocks shots, and can defend multiple postions. I don’t think the pistons need another offensive force. Keep the ball in Stuckey/Knight/Monroe’s hands and they’ll be good. As for him being skinny, go look at pictures of Camby and Garnett as rookies.

  • Jun 20, 201210:18 am
    by Gurman


    He was the ACC defensive player of the year twice…. Not thats gotta say something. 

  • Jun 20, 20123:56 pm
    by Lorenzo


    They diagnosed him with tight hamstrings that can lead to back problems….one of the silliest “red flags” I have seen in a long time. It requires care and a lot of stretching but this isn’t a degenerative joint or something that is chronically regressive….it’s a very manageable condition. I personally don’t like him at 9 for the Pistons even perfectly healthy but if he drops below twenty…he will be a steal for anyone.

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