|Posted by shawn cassidy on July 18, 2013 at 5:30 AM|
Wouldn't it be nice. An All-Star power forward in the making already on the Celtics. Sullinger slipped in the draft because of his back, and maybe that issue will stick around for his entire career, but the good news is that he had surgery to repair it for the time being. Sullinger could have easily been drafted in the top ten, if not the top five. He won the starting job over Bass before his season ending injury. This season will tell us a lot about Sully. If we can get 12 and 10 out of the guy, that's a decent sign of what could be. Okay, maybe the 10 is a bit much. How about 8 at least in his second season. Sully can score from the outside, and hes able to back players down in the paint. His I.Q has been praised by many, and I think he showed that in his short rookie season. In 45 games (five starts), Sullinger averaged six points and 5.9 rebounds while playing 19.8 minutes a game.
Under the watchful eyes of Boston's strength and conditioning coaches, Sullinger is on track to return in time for training camp, which will go far in him achieving his primary goal - to be better than he was as a rookie.
"I knew from the get-go that this [surgery] was going to happen," Sullinger told Comcast SportsNet in the middle of a workout this summer at the Celtics' practice facility. "I was hurt, and I knew I was going to have surgery. If it wasn't this following year it would be next following year. So I kind of expected it, I wasn't disappointed. I knew it was coming around the corner."
While the injury certainly sapped a lot of his strength, it had no effect on his fundamentally sound game, which in some respects is akin to San Antonio Spurs great Tim Duncan - minus the ridiculously efficient back shot of course.
"Watching him [Sullinger] play, there wasn't any question that he would pick up on the nuances of the NBA game pretty quickly wherever he went in the draft," said an Eastern Conference scout who said he had seen Sullinger play "at least a dozens times" in AAU games and later at Ohio State. "Really smart kid with a high basketball I.Q. There was only one real knock against him, and it cost him on draft night."
Although it will be hard to lower our expectations as fans for awhile. It's kind of nice seeing a new team form, and this isn't even the final product. Who knows when that will be, it won't be this season, but the challenge is teaching, and growing as a team. It will be fun, and I can't wait to see guys like Sully, and Olynyk grow. The perfect dream would be both of them becoming one of the best big men duos in the league. It's nice to dream, and sometimes things do come true.