BOSTON (CBS) — Celtics president Danny Ainge delivered a pretty direct shot at Jared Sullinger on Thursday morning.
Joining Toucher & Rich for his weekly call, Ainge said that everyone on the team was in shape — except for Sullinger.READ MORE: NH Police Searching For Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Elijah Lewis
The third-year forward is out for the season after suffering a stress reaction in his foot, the second time in his brief career his season has been cut short by injuries. He missed the end of his rookie season to undergo back surgery, an ailment he played through during his college days and the Celtics were well aware of when they drafted him 21st overall in 2011.
But the injuries have become a bit of a trend, and one has to wonder if those extra pounds have something to do with it. And given Sullinger’s other issues — his domestic violence incident (charges were dropped) ahead of last season; being late to practice twice in the same week this season — and now those comments from Ainge, it appears the Celtics may be nearing a tipping point with Sullinger. A restricted free agent after next season, the Celtics will have to decide on his future with the team very soon.
Could those issues hurt his trade value if the C’s opt to go in that direction? Adam Jones discussed this on Thursday night’s Celtics @ 7 on 98.5 The Sports Hub, and hopes Sullinger hears Ainge’s message loud and clear.READ MORE: Case Of Rat-Borne Bacterial Disease Identified In Boston
“There are enough questions around Sullinger, from weight to the domestic violence charges being dropped to him not showing up on time. I’d look at it, as a team around the NBA, and say, ‘I’m not going to pay top dollar or what Sullinger is worth. If the Celtics want to deal him, I’d try to buy low on Sullinger.’ As an asset, I think his value is down.
“I’m not saying the Celtics didn’t make the right pick in that draft, because that’s a good player they drafted in the 20’s,” he said. “But now you have an asset whose value has repressed, and on top of that you have a contract issue coming up next year. You have to decide if you’re going to extend him or let him hit restricted free agency.
“I don’t think he’s that big of an issue or problem where the Celtics have to give him away, but I’m disappointed by the latest development,” said Jones. “If [Ainge’s comments] aren’t a message for Sullinger to, literally, get his ass in shape for next season, he will be somewhere else. He will be traded away and he’s not a foundational piece.”MORE NEWS: 12-Year-Old Boy Struck By Car, Seriously Injured In Taunton