The Boston Celtics might have uncovered another late round drat gem in rookie Jared Sullinger. The fact is the warning signs were already there that Boston lucked out. Sullinger would have been a top pick in the previous year’s draft had he came out. The man has passion for the game, a strong work ethic, and great post moves. However, Sullinger elected to play another year of college and sadly for him had a poor NCAA tournament and then concerns about a back problem that may or may not require surgery at some point surfaced and Sullinger fell all the way to Boston at 21 in this year’s NBA draft. Sullinger’s loss is Boston’s gain as he has showed thus far during the NBA Summer League that he may just be the real the deal top prospect many felt he was the year before.
The Boston Celtics summer league team is rolling having won the last three games. A big reason for that is rookie Jared Sullinger has looked like the best player on the court. Sullinger has shown a great aptitude for offense in the post. He has made his way to the basket with sweet moves. He also moved well without the ball and found openings to exploit in the post. The result was a twenty point outburst in his first game. His passing skills were also solid. Sullinger showed the smarts to know just when to shoot and when to dish the ball out to an open shooter for an open look due to help defense coming.
Sullinger is looking good now, but he will get even better once he plays with better talent. Sullinger is the kind of weapon that a guy like Rajon Rondo will have a field day playing with. He moves well without the ball and knows how to finish. Paul Pierce being out on the floor will also provide more space for him to work in the post. Sullinger also has not even got to truly pick the brain of one Kevin Garnett. KG can only help this kid with his vast knowledge of scorn in the paint.
Remember this is the summer league and even Luke Harangody had a solid performance. However, this does feel different with the way Sallinger just looks so much better than everyone else. The summer league may only be filled with rookies and with marginal talent overall, but the polish on the offensive end is clearly already here with this kid. I know Doc Rivers hates playing rookies, but this guy is too good to not get some minutes. The bench struggled to score last year and a guy that can score in the post will go a long way to help Boston avoid long scoring droughts that killed them. If he can give Boston that offensive boost, then Boston will be a very deep and dangerous team with Jason Terry and Jeff Green coming off the bench as well for some serious offensive punch.