The only good thing about being so bad this season is that the Charlotte Bobcats are virtually guaranteed to get a pretty solid player in the coming NBA draft. That can’t always be said, but the talent pool looks pretty darn good so whether they get the first, second, or third pick (or lower) via the lottery they are going to get someone who can contribute immediately.
That is, unless His Airness does something crazy, but in Jordan we trust right?
As the whole world knows, Mr. Unibrow (aka Anthony Davis) is going to be the No 1 pick in the draft. Should that pick not belong to the Bobcats, who else should they choose?
They can’t go wrong if they opt to go with the sophomore forward from Ohio State Jared Sullinger.
His stats are solid. As a freshman– the year most people expected him to enter the draft—he averaged a double-double with 10.2 boards and 17.2 points a game. That number dipped a tad last season (9.2 boards but 17.5 points a game), but he went up in many other areas.
He went from averaging a block every other game to 1.1 a game. His free throw percentage improved from .704 to .768. As a big man he will not be expected to drain a lot of 3s, but he got better at that too hitting 40 percent (16-40) last season compared to 25 percent as a freshman (3-12). His field goal percentage took a dip (.519 to .541), but with his smaller size he was likely taking more jump shots than he did as a freshman.
Just on stats alone this kid looks pretty darn good, but that’s not what really sells me on him. He could have easily been a top three pick in the draft last season. Having grown up 140 miles outside of Cleveland it probably would have been nice to get picked by the Cavaliers. Had he come out in the 2011 draft he likely would have.
Instead he opted to stay in college so that he could get in better shape and improve his game before he went pro. Whether he was also considering the potential ramifications of a missed season due to a prolonged lockout we will never know.
The fact is he sounded like a very responsible young man when he made his decision to return to college. What makes it even better is that he did what he said he was going to do. He is a much better basketball player now than he was then. The 6-foot 9-inch power forward also trimmed down from the 290s to 265.
Jared Sullinger can play ball, he adds size to a roster without much size, and he has proven that he is willing to put in the work to improve his game (can you say that about all pros? I’m talking to you Boris Diaw.).
If Charlotte does not get the Unibrow the team will be quite happy with this guy.