HoopsHype Jared Sullinger rumors

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The Celtics already picked up their team option on Sullinger for next season, but he will become a restricted free agent in 2016. Boston wants to see results before it commits to a long-term deal. Ainge said he has "great interest" in re-signing Sullinger, but he will likely be subjected to a weight clause in his contract, much like Glen Davis had during his tenure in Boston. "I'm perfectly fine with that,'' said Sullinger, in an interview with ESPNBoston.com on Sunday night. "It's not that I need it. It's the simple fact that I know what kind of person I am, and I would never get back to the weight I was [this season].'' Ainge said he wants to believe Sullinger has gotten the message and will lose the weight. "I think he understands,'' Ainge said. "The question is, Can he do it?'' ESPN.com

There are scores of NBA players whose careers were thwarted because of weight issues, among them former Phoenix Suns center Oliver Miller, who played with and was later coached by Ainge in Phoenix. Miller, known as "Big O" because of his size, was a gifted big man who had the skills to be an All-Star center but ballooned to more than 300 pounds and became a journeyman instead. "Danny told me about him,'' Sullinger said. "I don't want to be one of those guys. I know this could hurt my NBA career. If I [don't lose the weight], I'm playing eight to nine years instead of 10 to 15 years. I can't let that happen.'' ESPN.com

March 4, 2015 Updates
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But his broken left foot injury serves as a yet another reminder – and maybe the last one needed – that Sullinger has to make serious changes to his body if he’s going to have the kind of professional career he wants. “Change the physique,” he said. “Change the way I look, that’s the biggest thing. We’re gonna find ways to get me in the best shape as possible.” CSNNE.com

“I got in better shape (last summer),” Sullinger said. “There’s another level. There’s always another level to everything. I just have to take it to another level. This year I came back in a little bit better shape. Obviously it wasn’t good enough. Now I got to get back to the grit and grind, kind of break my body down just to build it back up.” CSNNE.com

February 25, 2015 Updates

Discussing his approach to recovery, Sullinger said, "Change the physique, change the way I look. That's the biggest thing, I think, is just change the way I look. I'm tired of looking on camera and just seeing how I look and seeing how I play during extended minutes. Conditioning's going to be a big factor." Sullinger has long called shedding weight a focus. He stated a goal of losing more than 20 pounds last offseason. He openly acknowledges his lack of conditioning and has always suggested he could reach another level with improvement in that area. Booth Newspapers

To this point in his career, he has never turned the corner and decided to get into elite shape. Why not? "I'm always the type of person that a lot switch has to happen," he said. "I developed my grades through a mistake I made with my father. By not doing my work, he sat me out. Next thing you know I was on honor roll. So I've always been that type of person. And sometimes I'm a little late with things, but as long as it happens, it happens. I got in better shape (this past offseason)," Sullinger added. "It's just there's another level to it. There's always another level for everybody. I just gotta take it to another level now. This year I came back in a little better shape, but obviously it wasn't good enough. Now I just have to get back to the grit, the grind, the usual, kind of break my body down just to build it back up. And I think that's what I'm going to do this summer." Booth Newspapers

February 23, 2015 Updates

Though Brad Stevens downplayed the chance that Jared Sullinger will need surgery in his recovery from a metatarsal fracture in his left foot, it’s clear that the big Celtics forward will have to adhere to a strict conditioning program. Asked about the 280-pound Sullinger’s battle with weight and how it might affect his rehabilitation, the Celtics coach replied that the rehab process will indeed be arduous. “The biggest thing is that he continues to really work on conditioning, because that is really important, but he’s going to have to rehab in some unique ways,” Stevens said yesterday. Boston Herald

February 22, 2015 Updates

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