Jared Sullinger is heading north to join the Toronto Raptors. Stunningly, Sullinger beat Adrian Wojnarowski to the news, tweeted the Raptors' latest motto, and changed his profile picture to their logo.
WE THE NORTH #0— Jared Sullinger (@Jared_Sully0) July 11, 2016
Woj came along to confirm the news minutes later, tweeting that Sully has indeed joined the Raptors on a one-year deal. Marc Stein added that the contract is in the $6 million range, a relative steal with some of the money that's being tossed around this summer.
Free agent Jared Sullinger has agreed to a one-year deal with the Toronto Raptors, league sources tell @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 11, 2016
As @Jared_Sully0 shared on his twitter account already, of course.....— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 11, 2016
Jared Sullinger and the Toronto Raptors have struck a one-year deal believed to be in the $6 million range, according to league sources— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 11, 2016
The signing ends speculation that Sullinger had a multi-year deal on the table. In the end it appears that the Celtics had simply moved on to a new plan in their frontcourt. In four seasons with the Celtics after being drafted, Sully averaged 11.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists while shooting 44% from the field and 27.6% from three. Along the way, Sullinger struggled with injuries for periods and battled criticism over his weight.
In the end, Sullinger's Celtics tenure ended as a big "what could have been." He managed to be a force in the rebounding department while showing spurts of greatness when he locked in, such as a 17-point, 15-rebound performance vs. the Hawks on a broken foot in 2015 that propelled the Cs into the second half of the season.
At other times he looked hobbled, getting his feet stuck in the mud on defense and missing games or falling short in minutes played. In four years he only played in 258 out of 328 games while averaging just 24.9 minutes. The 2015-16 season got off to a hot start for him as one of the most efficient players in basketball (9.6/9.3/2.4 in OCT/NOV/DEC) before he fell off a cliff when April began (5.2/4.5/1.2), almost appearing unplayable into the playoffs as his minutes faltered. At that point the team may have considered whether it was worth it to bring him back at all.
Potential is still there however, as Sullinger is just 24 years old. Even though the Cs may not miss his question marks, there is a significant hole in Boston's rebounding department in his absence. He joins a Toronto frontcourt that just lost Bismack Biyombo, who signed with the Orlando Magic this summer. Also, once again, according to Sullinger, he's going to change his body. If it happens, Boston will get a first-hand view in the Atlantic division fight.
Change is coming— Jared Sullinger (@Jared_Sully0) July 6, 2016