I’m going to go ahead and say it – Jared Sullinger is going to be the steal of this draft. He’s been impressive in the summer leagues, both in Orlando and now in Vegas, and he’s not had the first problem with the back that doctors “red-flagged” prior to the 2012 NBA Draft in June. Sullinger has already proven that he can play in the NBA, and he should have no trouble carving out a place in the rotation backing up Kevin Garnett.
Sullinger will be motivated to prove the doubters wrong, and to show the world that he was indeed worthy of being a lottery selection. It’s the kind of attitude that should fit in nicely with the Celtics’ close-knit culture, and I can see KG taking Sullinger under his wing almost immediately.
The nice thing about Sullinger is that he may be one of the most polished players coming out of this year’s draft. He knows his way around the basket, and he has a legit offensive game. No, he won’t lead the team in scoring – far from it – but he’ll definitely be a threat to put the ball in the hole while his on the court. You’ve gotta like that, ladies and gents. This is a guy who can come in right away and help us. He shown an ability to power his way over taller defenders, draw fouls, hold his position near the paint and work his way toward the basket for easy shots – things the Celtics will be thrilled to see come playoff time.
That’s quite a ways off, of course – the Celtics are still playing meaningless summer league games, and training camp doesn’t start for another couple of months. And when it does, KG will be there, waiting to dish out his own special brand of tough love on the Ohio State rook. Sullinger is already bracing for it, and welcomes the criticism that is certain to come. After all that he’s been through leading up to the draft, a KG tongue-lashing should be a walk in the park.