The Golden State Warriors have not drafted well when it comes to big men and in 2012 that could change because Jared Sullinger could make an immediate impact off the bench for the Warriors. With David Lee and a healthy Andrew Bogut, Sullinger would give the Warriors added depth at a position that has been a weakness for a long time and more importantly make an impact rebounding the ball on both ends of the court.
Drafting Sullinger has its risks as his stock has dropped due to concerns about his back and yet that should not faze the Warriors especially with the history of failed big men. Since 1991 the Warriors have only been able to select in the first round four decent big men, Chris Gatling who was the 16th pick in 1991, Joe Smith the no.1 pick in 1995, Troy Murphy the 14th pick in 2001 and Andris Biedrins the 11th pick in 2004.
As for the second round there was only one surprise and he only played one year for the Warriors before going elsewhere and that was Marc Jackson.
Over that same time period the Warriors have drafted in the first round Victor Alexander, Shaun Vandiver, Clifford Rozier, Adonal Foyle, Jeff Foster, Patrick O’Bryant, Anthony Randolph and Ekpe Udoh. Second round picks include Matt Fish, Anthony Miller, Andrew DeClercq, Dwayne Whitfield, Michael McDonald, Tim Young, Kosta Perovic, Jarmareo Davidson and Richard Hendrix.
With the amount of big men the Warriors have drafted that haven’t panned out at this point why shouldn’t the Warriors take the risk with Sullinger’s back? The worst thing that could happen to him is his back doesn’t hold and yet if he played like he did at Ohio State he would give the Warriors a high energy bench player who can make an impact offensively and on the glass something the Warriors desperately need.
There were many teams who passed up on Dejuan Blair out of the University of Pittsburgh because of his bad knees and yet if the draft was to be done over again there’s no way he drops into the second round.
Before the red flag with Sullinger’s back he was among the best players in the draft and he is still that kind of player. In his freshman year he averaged 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds on 51.9 percent from the field and 76.8 percent from the free throw line and last year his sophomore year he averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds on 54.1 percent from the field and 70.4 percent from the free throw line.
The other option for the Warriors would be Andre Drummond out of the University of Connecticut and he doesn’t make sense. He’s coming out after only one season of college basketball where his stats were less than eye popping. He definitely has the size to be in the NBA and yet 10.2 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game aren’t very impressive, his field goal percentage of 53.8 percent is great and yet his free throw percentage is terrible at 29.5 percent.
Out of Sullinger or Drummond the obvious choice for the 2012 Rant Sports NBA Mock Draft is Sullinger with the seventh pick in the NBA Draft. Sullinger also played an additional year of college basketball even though he could have come out and been a lottery pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. There’s no question that the Warriors should take the risk with Sullinger and reap the rewards when Sullinger has an impressive rookie season and becomes a monster on the glass.