Jared Sullinger, the former Boston Celtics forward, is headed up north to the Toronto Raptors on a one-year $6 million deal, per several reports.
Sullinger was a restricted free agent when the offseason began. However, the Celtics decided to pull back their $4.4 million qualifying offer to create cap room for all-star center Al Horford. After Sullinger became an unrestricted free agent, he reportedly received interest from several team but decided to go with Toronto.
On Monday afternoon, Sullinger announced his decision by tweeting “WE THE NORTH#0″ and subsequently changed his Twitter avatar to a Toronto Raptors logo.
Jared Sullinger to become a starter?
According to ESPN, Sullinger is expected to slot into Toronto’s starting front court alongside Jonas Valanciunas. Remember, the Raptors have lost Bismack Biyombo (Orlando Magic) and Luis Scola (Detroit Pistons) this offseason despite the addition of lottery pick Jakob Pöltl. They are still relatively thin in the front court and therefore Sullinger’s signing adds some depth.
Sullinger has had an up-and-down career since entering the league in 2012. Last season, he averaged 10.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in 23.6 minutes per game. A year before that, the former Ohio State standout aggregated 13.3 points and 7.6 rebounds from 27 minutes per game. Last year, Sullinger got lost in the shuffle in Boston’s crowded front court.
Brad Stevens, coach of the Celtics, said he was confident that Sullinger would have a good run with his new team. “”I think Jared’s a really good player, and I think Jared will continue to be a really good player. 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,” Stevens said on Sunday.
Jared Sullinger could see a lot more playing time with his new team.
— Jared M.X. Sullinger (@Jared_Sully0) July 11, 2016