Jared Sullinger ranked among NBA's most likely to break out by the Sporting News
As the offseason settled down after free agency, one of the only Celtics generating any "news" has been Jared Sullinger leaking footage of himself working out on the Internet. And, honestly, NBA2K16 didn't exactly do the Celtics big man any favors with their likeness of number 7. But this week, something new and different was spotted online, a Sporting News feature that lumps Jared Sullinger with their list of eight candidates about to take over the NBA:
Fitness has long been Sullinger's Achilles heel - a Glen Davis-esque clause appears to be on the horizon if he signs an extension with the Celtics - but he's making an effort to enter training camp in the best shape of his career.
Oh, OK. This is more of the same story, except it puts Sullinger in elite company if he does succeed in shedding some pounds, not just pegged as a big part of the Celtics' rotation. That's a nice wrinkle. Unless Sully's twitter feed is crammed with photoshopped images of himself in the gym, and he's really holed up in a Friday's on Route 1 eating loaded tater skins and slurping down pina coladas, the fourth year forward is on the right track. It's not that far fetched to think that a 23 year-old who spent this spring being fat-shamed in the media by his boss and has maybe $50m of his next contract riding on his 2015-2016 performance would get in shape this year.
Sullinger's 17.93 PER last season was identical to Rookie of the Year runnerup Nikola Mirotic, who's actually 13 months older than Sullinger. That's a pretty good jumping off point for Sullinger as he reaches such a pivotal crossroads in his young career.