One of the most talked about prospects this week in the run-up to the 2012 NBA Draft has been Jared Sullinger. The Ohio State power forward was reportedly red-flagged for a balky back, and his stock has plummeted. He was once thought to be a lock for the top 10 but he's potentially fallen out of the lottery and did not even receive an invite to sit in the green room backstage on Thursday night.
But Sullinger's tumble could create an opportunity for the Orlando Magic at No. 19. Rob Hennigan will hit the ground running this week, with Dwight Howard trade rumors still red-hot and the Draft just one day away. Hennigan could get a highly-motivated Sullinger at No. 19 to help along the front line. Draft Express released their latest mock draft, and Jonathan Givony projects Sully to Orlando:
Sullinger was likely to be selected in the top 10 until red flags uncovered in his NBA combine physical put a serious damper on his draft stock. Rumors are flying that Sullinger could require surgery that could sideline him for the entire year, which makes it virtually impossible to peg where he'll end up on draft night.
At this late stage in the draft, new GM Rob Hennigan can afford to take a flyer on a player who would be a huge steal if the concerns over his back end up being overblown, like most red-flagged prospects in the past.
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