Jared Sullinger will be taking his talents up north next season after agreeing to sign a 1-year contract with the Toronto Raptors worth roughly $6 million. This news comes just one day after it was announced that Boston had renounced its rights to Sullinger.
Here’s the latest:
Sullinger tweeted out “WE THE NORTH #0” before posting a larger thank you to the Celtics. Sully played his first four years in the association in Boston.
— Jared Sullinger (@Jared_Sully0) July 11, 2016
In Toronto, Sullinger will have an opportunity to make an impact on a playoff team. With Raptors starting power forward Bismack Biyombo headed to Orlando, Sully has the opportunity to take over the starting job vacated by Luis Scola.
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The Raptors were able to sign Sullinger with a $5.6 million mid-level exception, according to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. Given the large contracts we’ve seen so far this summer, under $6 million for a talented big man like Sully is exceptionally reasonable. This could imply that Boston was simply ready to head in another direction, and that salary concerns were secondary. Stevens spoke about Sullinger Sunday night after he officially became an unrestricted free agent.
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 beautiful touch and he’s a good guy, and so I think he’ll do well.
As Jay King pointed out, Stevens has also made reference to letting his guys “fly around” during the upcoming season. Though Sullinger’s shooting helps spread the floor, he lacks versatility and speed in the open court and on defense.
Though it appears there is no love lost between the Celtics and Sullinger, he has joined a division rival. This past season, Toronto was a full eight games ahead of Boston in the Atlantic Division, and both teams figure to be compete for a high playoff berth in 2016-17 as well. All the same, fans around the hub should still thank the big man for his service and wish Sullinger all the best moving forward.
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