With no consensus top selection for the 2011 NBA Draft, Dime Magazine says that the safest route for Dan Gilbert and Chris Grant is in the form of Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger.
With the season more than halfway over, the Cavaliers are in full experimentation mode, piecing together linueps of young athletes combined with cagey veterans. With holes at almost every position, the Wine and Gold have the luxury of taking the best player available come June 23. But with the majority of draft boards featuring different players at the top, Dime feels that Sullinger’s NBA-ready body coupled with his hometown ties could prove to make him the best selection for the rebuilding team.
Dime is admittedly hesitant with the hometown issue, questioning whether or not the Cavaliers would want to go down a similar path of another Ohio-born player. But in the same, given Sullinger’s recent successes (17.8 points, 10.0 rebounds per game) at Ohio State for the undefeated Buckeyes, it is not only a good PR move, but one that makes sense from a basketball standpoint.
After all, both should be considered when considering who can “save” the Cavaliers.
The question marks surrounding players like Perry Jones, Kyrie Irving, Terrence Jones and Harrison Barnes are potentially enough for the Cavaliers to consider going with safer options at the top rather than opting for potential. At this stage, Sullinger is compared more to Memphis’ Zach Randolph more than the poster boy of all young power forwards, Los Angeles’ Blake Griffin. And while he may not be making highlight reels, Randolph has been a consistent threat for 20 points and 10 rebounds per night.
The last player to record at least 20 points and 10 rebounds over the course of a season for the Cavaliers is Brad Daugherty who tallied 21.5 points and 10.4 rebounds per game during the 1991-92 season. Just missing the mark was a then-29-year-old Shawn Kemp who averaged 20.5 and 9.2, respectively, during the 1998-99 season.