Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Sullinger, a talented 6-foot-9 post player and rebounder, got by without a lot of lift in his game, and some question about his ability to score over long defenders. His back issues, which plagued him over his two years as a Buckeye, caused his slide down the board, though Danny Ainge had him graded as a top 10 talent. With averages of 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds, he was close to a double-double performer as a sophomore.
As for those back issues, the Celtics didn’t seem to be nearly as alarmed as the teams picking ahead of them who normally would have been in the market for an accomplished post scorer.
“I played for 13 years with a bad back and was OK, and he will be, too,” said Doc Rivers, in Newark, N.J., last night to support his son, Austin, taken by New Orleans with the 10th overall pick.
“Our doctors checked him out, and they didn’t give him a red flag. When you don’t get red-flagged, it will pretty much be OK.”
The Celtics then made a decided move toward the future by picking Melo — a project center who had maturity issues during his two years at Syracuse, most notably involving his conditioning. But the 7-foot-1 Brazilian is solid on the defensive end and was considered one of the best shot blockers on the board. Given that he played in a zone his entire college career, there are questions about how Melo will handle more intense defensive responsibilities.
Are you glass half full or half empty person? While my headline may be a tad bit negative, I’m not sour on the Celtics draft picks.
Let’s start with Jared Sullinger. A bull of a player who can rebound. He’s not super athletic, but we should be drooling at the prospect of having a rebounder on this team. He has a herniated disc. While back injuries are scary, they are not death sentences for players. Danny Ainge said Sullinger might need surgery. I sure hope he’s not talking about the immediate future. I’d hate to see Sullinger miss summer league and training camp. As some media members have pointed out, Avery Bradley slid in the 2010 draft because of an ankle injury. He sure looks fine to me now.
Fab Melo is a project. He’s a defensive talent who played zone in college. He’s going to block some shots, but he’s likely going to be horrific in pick-and-roll defense. He might remind us of Kendrick Perkins. He’s not a scholar. The best remedy for a guy with maturity issues is time spent with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Let’s hope he can at least listen.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Bigger is better | Ainge talks KG, says Sullinger has disc issue | Rivers goes 10th | C’s select Joseph in 2nd round | Ainge has deft touch | ESPN Boston – Celtics gamble on Sullinger, Melo | Sullinger, Melo to Celtics | CSNNE – Celtics take gambles, add size with questionable players | When it comes to NBA level defense, Melo not yet your man | Source: C’s interested in Bass for May | Herald – Celtics not backing off Sullinger | C’s stars pass wisdom on to picks | Rivers sees value in Melo | Doc set for new rival, his son | Yahoo! – Suns will pursue Ray Allen |