I've been thinking about this for a while now and its been slow so I figure I'd post this here and get some talk going. One of the cool things about following the Pistons is reading about Arnie Kander and what he sees physiologically in players and how he addresses them. That got me thinking about Jared Sullinger who is projected to be available in the 9-14 range and comes with serious concerns to front office staff and fans alike. Jared Sullinger is bona fide NBA talent. He is two time All American. He averaged 17.5 points and 9.3 rebounds this season. His mature skill set and strength allows him to be effective down low on both ends. The knock on him as a prospect is the lack of athleticism. Athleticism is a broad term and like with Greg Monroe, its inacurate. Monroe was athletic. He had balance, control, strength, power. He didn't have exceptional leaping ability. Sullinger isn't in the same boat but he isn't as bad as people make out. Primarily, this is because his strengths lie in his lower body. Athleticism or more concisely, explosiveness, is not black box mysticism. Its a combination of physiological mechanics and need to work together to maximise power and efficiency. Sullinger has several obvious aspects that is affecting that. Will Kander be able to fix it? I'm sure there's a mango extract out there to help Sully out! Factor 1: Weight. Sully started the season at 269 after a much publicised weight loss program. That's down from the 290 during his freshman year. He then put back 10 lbs. to 'be more effective' in the low post. This all about a guy who has learned to utilize his mass to accomplish his goals. That mass, though, will hinder his speed and explosiveness. Now, you don't just put back weight unless its bad weight. Muscle weight takes time. Sullinger needs to take a 265 baseline body and add 10 lbs of muscle to it. It needs to be balanced so he doesn't throw his back (or knees or feet) out. A big part of that is diet which, by all accounts, has been improved but needs to become a professional athlete's diet. All pro level trainers are accomplished at building core strength and power and Kander is one of the best. I wouldn't expect to see dramatic improvement until year 2. Factor 2: Balance. One leg is an inch longer than the other. I have a 70/30 split in the distribution of weight between my legs. This partially because my hip is off by 1/2 an inch. It's been noted that the leg thing is apparent in Sullinger's running gait. Back when Darko was a rookie with us, Kander talked about his weight distibution and how that inefficiency affects an athletes explosiveness. I believe that this is a major factor in Sullinger's lack of athleticism. It's also one of Kanders core building blocks; fancy that. Rip mentioned that alignment work and focus on balance helped him excel as a Piston. Put Sullinger on the balance board and see if alignment work on his body can't rectify the balance issue and then see where he is at athletically. This is probably not going show results under 2 years as well. Factor 3: Flexibility. Range of motion is a key factor in explosiveness. I don't have much to say about this other than it looks like Jared's got a lot of room for improvement and Kander focuses on this as well. If the Piston's staff doesn't see him passing the workout tests then so be it. But if they do select him. I think Arnie's got a lot of work to do but things are definitely correctable. Sullinger already has the motor, the winning attitude, and a solid work ethic to go along with a low post skill set, good footwork and an evolving jump shot. He may never be a 2 way dominator but with improvements to his body mechanics, he may develop into a fringe all-star candidate or at least a solid 16/8 guy.