Boston Celtics power forward Jared Sullinger switches sides Monday after agreeing to a one-year $6 million contract with the Toronto Raptors for the next season.
Sullinger himself broke the news through his Twitter account with the message “WE THE NORTH#0” and changed his Twitter avatar to a Raptors logo. The Celtics revoked the $4.4 qualifying offer for Sullinger to make him an unrestricted free agent and to clear their cap space to accommodate Al Horford, whom the Celtics signed to a $113 million contract.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens told ESPN that Sullinger will be a big asset to the Raptors as he is a good player. Stevens added that Sullinger will quickly adapt to the system that the Raptors are playing with. He noted that many teams have been inquiring about his availability and believe that being with the Raptors suits him the most.
“I think Jared’s a really good player, and I think Jared will continue to be a really good player,” Stevens said. “Obviously, when we got Al [Horford], that made us make hard decisions. And the thing that stinks about that is having to move on and move forward, both for him and us. But he’ll do great. Jared’s one of the more talented guys being able to get the ball off the glass, and he’s got a beautiful touch and he’s a good guy, and so I think he’ll do well.
During his stint with the Celtics, Sullinger averages 10.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per game. His solid performance would be a perfect addition to the Raptors as he could very well help in the team’s interior defense. Before packing his bags for a new home up North, Sullinger thanked the Celtics organization and the fans for their support. Sullinger noted that he will forever cherish his memories with the team that drafted him back in 2012.
Though injuries have plagued Sullinger in the past but he tries to keep himself healthy as the new season is just a stone throw away. Sullinger’s presence will be a big help for the Raptors, who lost Bismak Biyombo to the Orlando Magic as they could not cover much more space since they re-signed DeMar DeRozan to a max contract.
Raptors head coach Dwane Casey will have to figure out how to combine Sullinger together with center Jonas Valanciunas. Sullinger is a versatile forward who could also create positive situations for his teammates to benefit from within and even outside the paint.
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