One of the more surprising NBA rumors today is that Ohio State star center Jared Sullinger, who was once thought to be a likely lottery pick, will not be invited to the NBA Draft “green room” where those guys thought to be lottery picks wait during the draft broadcast.
Over the course of the past few weeks, Sullinger’s draft stock has plummeted due to worries about his weight, and concerns about his long-term physical health given lower back injuries he suffered while in Columbus.
Sullinger instead will watch the draft from a restaurant in Columbus, and is now being expected by many draft pundits to go somewhere in the late-teens or early 20s, instead of in the lottery of the first 12 picks. It’s a surprising turn of events for a player who at one time was considered to be among the best of this year’s class and whom has continued to lose traction all fall.
Each team ultimately will make their own decision of how calculated a risk it may, or may not be, to take a chance on Sullinger in the 1st round, but it’s hard to believe a talented and skilled big man like he is would drop as concerns spread like wildfire.
What it is, really, is proof NBA general managers and scouts fall easy prey to groupthink. If a prospect is considered to have lost value by one team, three will believe this to be the case, and six will believe the three that follow suit.
It’s much easier for GMs and scouts to go with what has become crowd-sourced knowledge than to do their own due diligence on a player. The irony though, is that due diligence and the willingness to take a risk on a player which other teams have so casually written off due to a back problem, which may or may not be a major career hazard, could pay off greatly.
Don’t be so sure that just because Jared Sullinger won’t be in the green room on Thursday evening a team doesn’t step up and take him in the lottery anyway.
If this is the case, the Ohio State big man will get the last laugh.
Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.
Kris is also the host of Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.