Jared Sullinger

Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Jared Sullinger needs to show the Boston Celtics he’s a player they can rely on heavily in the future.

Working on losing some weight and adding some moves, Sullinger is hoping he can be in the best shape of his career since joining the Celtics in 2012, and has Brad Stevens, his head coach, very excited about working with him again.

He’s had a lot of good moments in my first two seasons here and he’s certainly a big important part of our team. He’s in a position where he can score both facing and also back-to-the-basket, but he’s also in position where he can pass the basketball and we play through our bigs quite often and we have a lot of them that are really good passers and really good playmakers. He’s certainly a guy that brings a lot to the table, I’m looking forward to getting to work with him again.

While the Celtics can extend Sullinger’s deal before October ends, they’re probably going to wait until he becomes a restricted free agent. It might cost them more money eventually, but they’re willing to take that risk if it means they put that money on a player who has proven he’s taking his game to the next level.

Sullinger averaged 13.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season. He played mostly at power forward last season but keeps getting minutes at center where he’s less effective. The Celtics want to see him healthier as well, playing in just 58 games last season and 45 during his rookie year, besides the obvious expectations for him to give his numbers a boost. Everyone seems to be convinced that by Sullinger dropping weight, most of his problems or setbacks will disappear.

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