Jared Sullinger Is Ready For Boston
Jared Sullinger had another impressive season at Ohio State as a sophomore and his NBA predraft camp measured height of 6’9” confirmed he wasn’t quite as undersized for a power forward as expected, but the surefire top 10 draft pick of a year ago plummeted to No. 21 after a medical red-flag was issued by the league. Sullinger had back issues that concerned a number of teams.
“My back is fine,” Sullinger said throughout the process. “Nothing is wrong with it.”
During the Orlando Summer League, Sullinger proved that his back wasn’t a concern. He was one of the most dominant players throughout the week and made the Boston Celtics look very smart for selecting him after he slipped on draft night. Sullinger was named to the All-Summer League Second Team in Orlando and he showed that he knows how to use that big body of his effectively. As was the case during the pre-draft process, he still isn’t concerned about what his detractors might say about him.
“You just have to play basketball,” Sullinger said. “It’s read and react and most of it’s pick-and-roll. Everybody has their little thing about what I can and cannot do so I live with it and that’s fine with me, but I am just out here playing and enjoying winning like we always do.”
Getting drafted into a winning organization, especially a winning organization that needs the skills Sullinger brings with him from college, is an unexpected luxury for most highly-touted draft picks. Sullinger knows how lucky he is to be joining the Celtics.
“It’s great to know that you get to go to a team that has Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, (Rajon) Rondo, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass and I could go down the line,” said Sullinger. “They have a lot of guys back and I can learn from them and their experiences. It means a lot. I am happy and ready to get started.”
He is also ready for a little rookie tomfoolery when he is around his new mentors, although it might not be as easy as he expects.
“It’s always easy when you have guys to (help) run the vets errands,” explained Sullinger. “We have three with me, Kris Joseph and Fab Melo. We are ready to run those errands for the vets.”
At 21 years old, the Celtics appear to have found a draft steal in Sullinger. He’s as NBA-ready a big man as there might be in this draft class. If his back is as fine, as Sullinger says it is, the Celtics might just have a rookie ready to be a part of next season’s rotation.