Column: A Cavs jersey would fit Jared Sullinger perfectly

Michael Moses

Michael Moses

Contact Michael Moses at [email protected].

“With the first pick in 2011 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select Jared Sullinger, forward from the Ohio State University.”

This quote isn’t real. But it very well could be June of this year.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are struggling, to say the least. The Cavs tied a North American professional sports record with 26 straight losses this season and have a mere season record of 9-46. The Cavs rank 25th, or worse, in points for and points allowed.

To say the Cavs need a spark is an understatement at this point but being this bad means that things can only get better.

Be optimistic, people!

In the 2002-2003 NBA season, the Cavs were 17-65 and won the draft lottery. They chose a guy by the name of LeBron James, a three-time Ohio Mr. Basketball, first overall and the rest is history. A Rookie of the Year award and one season later, Cleveland doubled its win total to 35-47.

If we were to draft Sullinger, we could see this again in the near future.

At this pace, the Cavaliers should secure the No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft.

In addition, another former Ohio Mr. Basketball should be drafted with the top selection by the hometown Cavaliers if he decides to forgo his sophomore season.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Mr. Jared Sullinger, power forward for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Sullinger, a Columbus, Ohio, native, was the 2010 Parade Magazine Player of the Year, starring at Northland High. His impressive bio doesn’t end there: 2010 McDonald’s All-American and co-MVP of the game, 2010 High School Naismith Award winner, 2010 Jordan Brand High School All-American and of course, two-time Ohio Associated Press Mr. Basketball.

Sullinger didn’t have the hype that LeBron had coming out of high school — nor was he permitted to jump straight to the NBA due to a rules change — but without doubt, he can help turn the Cavaliers around.

The six-foot-nine, 280-pound freshman led the Buckeyes to a 24-1 record this season by averaging 18 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.

The double-double machine is a force underneath the basket.

Sullinger’s numbers are not mind-blowing, but you must factor in how much talent is around him. The Buckeyes are pretty much a lock for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, and it’s not because this is a one-man team.

Take him off the court, though, and Ohio State surely wouldn’t be in the position it is at now.

The Cleveland Cavaliers rank No. 27 out of 30 NBA teams this year in rebounding. They lack a true post presence and are bullied in every which way possible.

Antawn Jamison is listed as a power forward but could do much more damage away from the basket on the offensive end.

Plug Sullinger into the equation, and not only do you have a big man underneath, but also a breath of fresh air to a gasping franchise.

Jared comes from a basketball family. His dad coaches nationally ranked Northland High in Columbus. Both of his older brothers were Division I players, as JJ played at Ohio State and Julian starred for Kent State.

To date, no Sullinger has made noise on the NBA scene.

Jared Sullinger is looking to change that last sentence, and maybe the rest of the family won’t have to travel far to see him play.