Profiling the NBA Draft: Jared Sullinger

In anticipation of the NBA Draft Lottery on May 30th, we will be profiling each of the top-10 players available in the NBA Draft from 10 to 1, discussing their strengths, weakness, and how each player could theoretically fit or not fit with the Cavaliers. For Tyler Zeller click here, Perry Jones III click here, John Henson click here, and Harrison Barnes click here.  Below is our profile on Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger.

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No. 6 – Jared Sullinger, Sophomore, Ohio State 2011-12; Stats: 17.5 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 51% shooting

Ohio State Buckeyes forward Jared Sullinger (L) celebrates a basket against the Kansas Jayhawks during the first half of their men's NCAA Final Four semi-final college basketball game in New Orleans, Louisiana, March 31, 2012.
I have been one of Jared Sullinger’s biggest detractors with respect to his NBA potential. I am not here to bash him though. Sullinger was an excellent player for the Ohio State Buckeyes, and put up solid number in his two seasons. And if it wasn’t for an epic second-half collapse in the Elite Eight, OSU would have had a crack a Kentucky. 

Sullinger is a very physical player. At 6-9, 280 pounds he is extremely strong and was able to establish position often very easily. He is phenomenal around the rim. He has soft hands and is able to finish in traffic with ease. There is a good chance he is the best post player in the draft. He has also extended his range this season past the 3-point line, shooting 40 percent during the year. If Sullinger is able to develop a consistent 3-pointer, he may be able to develop into that stretch 4 many teams crave.

Athletically, Sullinger leaves a lot to be desired. He tends to play under the rim and doesn’t possess explosiveness seen in many NBA power forwards these days. Defensively, Sullinger more than held his own in college, but this is where his lack of athleticism may hurt him at the next level. He is not particularly quick and isn’t the greatest leaper. He is a strong rebounder however, which will be able to help him on the defensive end.

Now is where Buckeye fans may not like me. I think he is the worst fit in the top 10 for the Cavs. He is essentially a better version of Samardo Samuels, albeit a much better version. Yes, he is talented, no doubt. But I am not sure his game translates the best in the NBA. A best case scenario for Sullinger is he turns into a Paul Milsap-type player. And I hope for whatever team drafts him, he does do that. Just not here in Cleveland.

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine,,, and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.