NBA free agency has really slowed down, and there are a handful of decent players without homes yet for next season. This tends to happen when players go into free agency with a certain price tag, but teams can’t pay it because they’ve used their cap space up or aren’t going to overpay for someone who hasn’t drawn much interest.
Ex-Celtic big man Jared Sullinger is one of those players. Sullinger signed a 1-year contract with the Toronto Raptors last summer after the Celtics let him walk, but he only played in 11 games for his new team. He was then traded at the trade deadline in a package for PJ Tucker, and then was released a day later.
Sullinger has had since February to try and find his way on an NBA roster, but he hasn’t had much luck in that pursuit. In the meantime, he has been playing in “The Basketball Tournament” on ESPN. The winning team of the tournament receives a prize of $2 million, and Sullinger is playing on an Ohio State alumni team with players like Aaron Craft and Greg Oden.
Isaiah Thomas was watching Sullinger’s game on Sunday and was impressed with what he saw—so impressed that he gave his old teammate a shout-out to let NBA teams know that they should make a move to sign the 25-year-old forward.
My guy @Jared_Sully0 is healthy and looking good!!! Somebody gotta pick him up— Isaiah Thomas (@Isaiah_Thomas) July 23, 2017
There have been rumors lately that the Brooklyn Nets are interested in signing Sullinger, so Thomas’ proclamation may come to fruition soon. Hopefully, ex-Celtic Sullinger finds his way back to playing, but it brings to mind the number of players that were on the team just last season and don’t have spots on other rosters yet. Gerald Green, Tyler Zeller, Jordan Mickey, and James Young haven’t found new teams after being let go by the Celtics.
Ever since the Celtics waived Zeller and Mickey, there hasn’t been a single report or rumor connecting either player to another team. Young played in the summer league for the New Orleans Pelicans. He averaged 8.5 points in 19 minutes per game, but the Pelicans have 16 players on their roster, making it unlikely that they bring him on. Green drew interest from the Minnesota Timberwolves at the beginning of free agency, but there hasn’t been much noise to think that a contract is on the way for the 11-year veteran. After signing Shane Larkin earlier last week, the Celtics will now head into training camp with 16 guaranteed contracts, so it’s unlikely that any of those former Celtics will get invited to Waltham.
With a lot of former Celtics having a hard time getting jobs after their time under Brad Stevens, you have to look at what an exceptional job Boston’s head coach has done with the talent he’s been given. The Celtics’ current roster is probably the most talented Stevens has had top to bottom since he became head coach before the 2013-14 season, which should make this season very exciting to watch.