Newark, NJ, United States (4E Sports) – Despite their alleged health setbacks, Jared Sullinger of Ohio State and Perry Jones III of Baylor still found teams that are willing to take a gamble on them.
A 6-9 power forward, Sullinger was touted among the top 10 in this year’s draft but his stock fell after he was red-flagged by doctors for having a balky back.
But this health problem did not deter the Boston Celtics from taking the power forward with the 21st pick in the draft.
Celtics assistant general manager Ryan McDonough said they had team doctors checked Sullinger during the NBA draft combine to test his back and found minor problems, which Boston president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said could ultimately lead to surgery.
“Doc Rivers played with a herniated disc for 13 years, so it may need surgery at some point, it may not,” Ainge said, referring to the Celtics’ head coach.
With Sullinger now in their fold, the Celtics have found a versatile player the former Ohio State standout as he is a legitimate scorer and a force in the shaded lane in rebounding. He averaged 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds in his two seasons at Ohio State.
The Celtics have also added another big man in their line-up by drafting Syracuse 7-footer Fab Melo, who boasts of a 7-foot-2 wingspan. “He has size, and we like size,” Rivers said. “We needed size.”
Jones, for his part, was selected 28th overall by the Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder despite his issue with meniscus in one of his knees.
A 6-11 power forward, Jones was expected to be picked in the top five but he fell a long way after his health problem was announced by doctors.
Oklahoma general manager Sam Presti said they were impressed with Jones’ workout at the NBA draft combine in Chicago and decided to take him despite his alleged problem
“We’ve looked at all the information that we’ve had available and we wouldn’t have selected him unless we felt comfortable with all of the information,” Presti said.
Presti said team doctors will thoroughly examine Jones to determine if he needs surgery on the knee.
The 2012 Draft went as follows:
New Orleans (Anthony Davis), Charlotte (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist), Washington (Bradley Beal), Cleveland (Dion Waiters), Sacramento (Thomas Robinson), Portland (Damian Lillard), Golden State (Harrison Barnes), Toronto (Terrence Ross), Detroit (Andre Drummond), New Orleans (Austin Rivers), Portland (Meyers Leonard), Houston (Jeremy Lamb), Phoenix (Kendall Marshall), Milwaukee (John Henson), Philadelphia (Moe Harkless), Houston (Royce White), Cleveland (Tyler Zeller), Houston (Terrence Jones), Orlando (Andrew Nicholson), Denver (Evan Fournier), Boston (Jared Sullinger), Boston (Fab Melo), Atlanta (John Jenkins), Dallas (Jared Cunningham), Memphis (Tony Wroten), Indiana (Miles Plumlee), Philadelphia (Arnett Moultrie), Oklahoma City (Perry Jones III), Chicago (Marquis Teague) and Golden State (Festus Ezeli).
Second round: Charlotte (Jeffery Taylor), Washington (Tomas Satoransky), Dallas (Bernard James), Dallas (Jae Crowder), Golden State (Draymond Green), Indiana (Orlando Johnson), Toronto (Quincy Acy), Denver (Quincy Miller), Detroit (Khris Middleton), Portland (Will Barton), Brooklyn (Tyshawn Taylor), Milwaukee (Doron Lamb), Atlanta (Mike Scott), Detroit (Kim English), Miami (Justin Hamilton), New Orleans (Darius Miller), Utah (Kevin Murphy), New York (Konstantinos Papanikolaou), Orlando (Kyle O’Quinn), Denver (Izzet Turkyilmaz), Boston (Kris Joseph), Golden State (Ognjen Kuzmic), LA Clippers (Furkan Aldemir), Brooklyn (Tornike Shengelia), LA Lakers (Darius Johnson-Odom), Toronto (Tomislav Zubcic), Brooklyn (Ilkan Karaman), Minnesota (Robbie Hummel), San Antonio (Marcus Denmon) and LA Lakers (Robert Sacre).