ESPN’s Chad Ford reported on Monday that Sully had been medically red-flagged due to multiple doctors expressing deep concern over his back. And while his father tried to clear things up with a simple explanation, the phrase “red flag” is enough to scare any general manager or team owner away from a prospect.
“He had a bulging area that was due to his hamstring and quads being so tight,” His father, Satch Sullinger, told ESPN’s Andy Katz. “It pulled on his hip flexor and he’s been taking care of it to loosen it. You can call it a red flag if you want. But it’s tight hamstring and tight quads. He’s been to doctors, he’s doing yoga and deep tissue massage. The flexibility is helping take the pressure off the area.
“We’ve got nothing to hide. At this stage it’s all about what they can’t do. Jared is a skilled player. A two-time All-American. He can play.”
But even though Sullinger’s got this back issue he’s been dealing with, is it really necessary for teams to overlook the fact that he is, indeed, an All-American heading into the NBA?
Like his father said, it’s nothing more than a tight hamstring and a tight quad, and Sully’s doing yoga. Last time I checked, yoga promotes loosening muscles and joints.
And even after that, OSU coach Thad Matta backed his former superstar up even more, texting Katz “Jared is fine. He’s moving better than I’ve ever seen him move.”
Jared Sullinger clearly has the potential to be an elite NBA player, ala Zach Randolph or Kevin Love. He’s got the bruising mentality to bang on the insides to grab rebounds, yet he’s got one of the softest touches around the rim in the Draft and can take opponents out to the NBA three-point line.
The NBA already slept once back in 2009 by letting Dejuan Blair, who was also medically red-flagged after tests showed he had no ACL’s in either knee, drop to the San Antonio Spurs at pick 37.
So to whichever GM’s just crossed Sully off of their list; don’t be that guy.
He will always be able to play basketball at a high level. No strained quad or hamstring is going to stop that.