Boston Celtics forward Jared Sullinger missed Wednesday night’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats with a bruised right knee, but he returned to action Friday night against the Portland Trail Blazers and scored a career-high 26 points with eight rebounds and two assists over a season-high 36 minutes of action.
Prior to missing that game against the Bobcats, Sullinger had scored in double figures with at least five rebounds in each of his previous five games despite not playing more than 25 minutes in any of them. Should fantasy basketball owners consider the Ohio State product a must-add now?
Sullinger went into the 2012 NBA Draft with concerns over the health of his back, and he played just 45 games (five starts) for the Celtics as a rookie, averaging 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in just under 20 minutes per contest before back surgery on February 1 ended his season early.
Sullinger followed up his breakout game against Portland with just three points, four rebounds and one assist over less than 14 minutes against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night. Playing on back-to-back nights surely played a role in Sullinger’s reduced playing time, but it also speaks to the overall fluidity of his role with Brandon Bass, Kris Humphries and others in the frontcourt mix for Boston and adds some level of risk and unpredictability for fantasy owners unless or until coach Brad Stevens settles on a specific rotation.
Sullinger’s ownership percentage has risen a bit on the heels of his performance Friday night, but he is available in 82 percent of Yahoo! leagues right now. Concern over his durability and the ongoing likelihood of inconsistent playing time puts a ceiling on his upside, but owners in deep leagues that may be looking to add and stash a big man, and are willing to exercise some patience, can consider grabbing Sullinger.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.