Boston Celtics Need to Build Around Jared Sullinger

By Michael LeDuc
Jared Sullinger
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Sullinger has been on a tear and has clearly been the best player on the Boston Celtics. The undersized forward has played terrific basketball thus far. He rebounds, scores in the paint, and hits outside shots. Sullinger has been the most consistent in terms of offense and hitting the boards. In the last seven games, he has averaged 15.4 points, 9.9 rebounds, and almost two assists. His overall field goal percentage has been 48.4 percent, including 34.6 percent from beyond the arc. The display of his offensive skill set has been fun to watch. Sullinger has all the makings to be a top contributor on the Celtics’ roster for years to come.

People often forget how good Sullinger was with Ohio State. He was supposed to be a Top-5 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, but injury concerns caused him to fall to the Celtics as the 21st pick. Think about it; players like Thomas Robinson, Austin Rivers, Meyers Leonard, and even Royce White were all picked before Sullinger. Jared has outperformed these players by a long shot. As long as his back holds up Sullinger could potentially have All-Star numbers. All-Star numbers may be a stretch, but he will be at least an everyday starter who can make significant contributions on any team. He most certainly is not a bench player. Sullinger has the potential to score 18 points and grab 10 rebounds a game. He’s only 21, so he has plenty of time to improve his game and put up numbers like that.

Jared Sullinger thrives being undersized. He tends to play with a chip on his shoulder and takes on any challenge. He outworks everybody else on the floor and supersedes expectations. Despite not being very tall and a little overweight, he more than makes up for it with his finesse and excellent work ethic. Sullinger knows how to use his size effectively and to his advantage. He has a plethora of proficient post moves in his arsenal. He can hit a mid-range jumper, and he has even started to expand his range by shooting more threes. Sullinger has a large amount of confidence in his skills and ability, and he still has so much potential.

The best quality Sullinger possesses is his competitiveness. He plays to win every game, and he has the winner mentality every good team wants. He shoots down any questions about the Celtics “tanking” and rather expounds on his desire to win. The trust in his teammates’ abilities, as well as his own, is great indication of a team player. The Celtics need to acquire players to build around Jared Sullinger—this guy has leadership skills, plays the game with heart, and will be substantial piece to a winning team.

Michael LeDuc writes about the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @mike_leduc, like his Facebook page and add him on Google.

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