Boston Celtics Jared Sullinger Is Pick Number 21: Ainge Loves A Great Gamble

By Rob Nelson

The one phrase that rings true that would describe Boston Celtics Team President Danny Ainge is that he is a gambler. Ainge has never shied away from a risk and high reward scenario. This is probably why AInge has a tremendous track record in the NBA Draft despite picking in the later stages more often than not. Rajon Rondo had issues being coached, Kendrick Perkins was a project, Avery Bradley did not show the same flash in college that he had in high school, and of course Tony Allen’s issues were legendary and yet all these guys Ainge saw and still wanted. This is why I am not surprised that when uber prospect with back issues from Ohio State Jared Sullinger fell to Boston that Ainge punched at the opportunity to pick him up.

The fact is that this pick could be a home run for Ainge. Sullinger has all the intangibles. This is a guy that was going to be a top five pick last year, but wanted to play for a NCAA National Title so he came back for one more year. This tells me he wants to win and that guy can play for my team any day. Sullinger is also viewed as a great teammate and is very intelligent.

However, his skills are not far behind his intangibles. Sullinger is listed at 6 foot 9 and 265 pounds, but is closer to 6 foot 8. He has great low post moves and a solid mid range shot. He is just so smart and knows what move to make or how to exploit a matchup in order to score. His 17 points a game against great competition playing for Ohio State shows that the man can score. Imagine teaming him with Rajon Rondo and getting the ball in the perfect spot to score very time. The thought is quite beautiful to a Boston fan. He is also a great rebounder and that is something Boston desperately needs. The guy grabs boards like a champ at about ten a game.

The bad news is there is a reason he fell. He had some back issues with bulging disks that made many teams run from this pick. The good news is I trust Ainge’s medical staff. It may be a gamble, but Ainge only takes gambles that are low risks in his mind. Ainge probably figures that this kid does not play above the rim too much and knows how to play to avoid injury.

The bottom line is at pick 21 there is usually not much out there that does not come with some risk. The fact is Boston is in great shape to gamble. If this pick does not work out, no big deal. The team is reloading with KG probably returning and it had another pick to go safer at number 22. If they were in complete rebuilding mode, than it would be a different story. Ainge could indulge his gambler side with no real fear of repercussion. However, this kid has a ton of talent and I believe that he will be a very good player for Boston due to his intangibles. Once again Danny Ainge has gambled and probably produced a stud for the Boston Celtics. This pick could help both now and give Boston a great running mate for Rajon Rondo in the future. Time will tell, but this pick looks good for Boston. Remember Go Green Or Go Home!!!!!!

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