David Lee and Amir Johnson have been added to the Celtics roster, which raises an obvious follow-on question.
What does that mean to Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk?
At some point I would imagine the Celtics will have to narrow down the roster and make a trade with some of their surplus. Or at the very least, Brad Stevens will have to decide which player comes off the bench first in his rotations.
If you are having a little bit of deja vu, that is because we did talk about this a couple months ago. But since we have a clearer idea of the offseason moves now, I figured it was a good enough time to re-hash this topic.
Jared Sullinger is seemingly farther along in his development at this point. He's got a crafty back-to-the-basket game, rebounding chops, and is developing a 3 point shot to stretch the floor (or at least keep defenses honest). The problem is that he's struggled with conditioning and has to prove that he can stay in shape (and on the court) enough to help on switches late in the game.
Kelly Olynyk is a modern, face-up, stretch 4 with a lot of talents. At his best he's hitting shots from deep, driving into the lane for easy buckets, and displaying deft passing instincts. At his worst he's a deer in headlights afraid to shoot the ball and ineffective on either end of the floor. He has less experience than Sullinger, so this year should tell us a lot.
My gut feeling is that Sullinger has more potential because there were times last year when he looked like the best player on the team. On the other hand, Olynyk looked timid at times but there are a lot of advanced stats that speak highly of him. Both have been up and down so far in their careers for a number of reasons. Both have been working on their games this summer.
Jared Sullinger has been working on his conditioning:
"He's been working out in a couple different locations," Stevens said, as transcribed on ESPN Boston. "But everything that I have heard, every time I've spoken with him, every time I have spoken to people around him, it sounds like he's doing great. "Hey, he wants to be in the best shape of his life, he wants to be in great condition, and he's working towards that, and I think he's excited for a new season to show that's been his focus and to show off the work that he's put in to get there."
Kelly Olynyk worked out with the summer league team out in Utah.
"You've got access to impeccable facilities in Waltham or in Boston, and you've got all the knowledge here," Olynyk said. "The coaches, the trainers — not only the strength trainers, but I go to the medical trainers — whatever you need is here. Why go somewhere else and pay for it all or do any of that when they want you to be around and I want to be around?"
So if you had to choose, who do you want to keep around?