Jared Sullinger is aware that the biggest knock on his basketball game is a lack of athletic ability. His response?
"I (couldn't) care less."
Sullinger, the 6-foot-9, 280-pound forward out of Ohio State, was one of six players to work out with the Warriors on Thursday morning at their downtown Oakland practice facility. The Warriors own four picks in the June 28 NBA Draft, including the No. 7 selection.
Sullinger, a consensus first-team All-American, is considered to be in the mix at that No. 7 spot if the Warriors choose to keep the pick rather than negotiate a trade. He spoke at length after his workout about the criticism of his athletic ability.
"I was hearing it when I was in college, I was hearing it in high school, I was hearing it in middle school," Sullinger said. "I'm just one of those type of guys that's never going to be athletic. Athleticsm does not bother me. I don't need it to be good."
Sullinger, who averaged 17.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game during his two seasons at Ohio State, pointed to the Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love and Memphis Grizzlies' Zach Randolph as players who have succeeded in the NBA with less than average athletic ability.
"If you want to draft somebody that's stupid athletic and is able to touch the top of the backboard, but has no skills or is just raw with talent, by any means, take that," Sullinger said. "I just accept the fact that I'm a below-the-rim player and I find other ways to score."
Two pieces of the Warriors' core for next season are power forward David Lee and center Andrew Bogut. Both are post players noted for their passing ability, which is considered one of Sullinger's strengths.
"I'd love to pick their minds and learn how to play in the post in the NBA," Sullinger said of Lee and Bogut.
North Carolina forward John Henson, Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague, Temple forward/center Michael Eric, Florida State forward Bernard James and Clemson guard Andre Young also worked out.
Henson could be a high first-round pick also despite weighing in at just 220 pounds on his 6-11 frame.
"My strength is something I've got to work on," he said. "I'm going to be playing against bigger guys. Strength isn't something that's easy to fix, but it's something you can work on."
Teague, the brother of Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, is a player the Warriors could target late in the first round to provide point guard depth behind Stephen Curry. Teague believes he could help the Warriors, even by sharing court time with Curry.
"I can penetrate and find (Curry), make plays for other guys on this team," Teague said. "Just come in and do whatever I can do to help win. Try to be a leader on the floor at all times."
The Warriors also hold the No. 30 pick and two second-round selections (Nos. 35 and 56 overall).