Jared Sullinger is officially a Boston Celtic.
After weeks of speculation about his draft position, Sullinger ended up being drafted 21st overall. It wasn’t a lottery pick, but Sullinger is headed to an elite franchise with an excellent head coach. It’s a great fit for both parties.
The “Big Three” in Boston (Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce) are aging and the franchise is presumably looking to reload. They won’t do much better than grabbing a lottery pick talent near the end of the first round. Meanwhile, Sullinger falls into a low-pressure situation, which may be perfect for a kid who’s been in the spotlight for years. He’ll have time to let his back heal and develop his already-formidable skills before being asked to carry the team.
That doesn’t mean he’ll be starved for playing time. At the 4-spot, he’ll be competing with Brandon Bass and JaJuan Johnson. Neither player is as talented as Sully. If he’s not starting as soon as he’s healthy, it won’t be long until he does.
It gets better. Jared is likely to be thrilled that he’ll never be asked to play center again, a position he struggled at for the Buckeyes. The Celtics drafted former Syracuse big man Fab Melo with the 22nd pick, a pure center and perfect future complement for Sullinger in the post.
Most importantly, congrats to the big man. He devoted himself completely to the Buckeyes while in school and ended his career as one of the finest players to ever wear the uniform. On behalf of Buckeye Nation, the Empire thanks you for two memorable years. Best of luck, Jared.