Jared Sullinger

Heat Notes: Winslow, Sullinger, Williams

It has been an eventful few days for the Heat, who saw point guard Goran Dragic lead Slovenia to its first EuroBasket championship with an impressive 35-point performance in the final game of the tournament, earning MVP honors. Dragic’s 35 points in the championship game were the highest EuroBasket Final output since Pau Gasol poured in 36 back in 2003.

Meanwhile, the Heat also officially announced its contract extension with Josh Richardson today. According to reports, Richardson’s new deal will lock him up through the 2020/21 season, with a player option for 2021/22. Miami also added undrafted rookie Erik McCree to its roster for training camp.

Here’s more from out of South Beach:

  • Justise Winslow has been “off the board with his commitment this summer,” a source tells Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, suggesting the third-year forward is working hard to develop his jump shot and his all-around game. As Jackson notes, the Heat are expected to exercise Winslow’s 2018/19 team option in the coming weeks. Winslow will compete with Richardson and Rodney McGruder for the starting job at small forward, Jackson adds.
  • According to Jackson, Heat president Pat Riley was “intrigued” by Jared Sullinger, who visited the team earlier this summer. However, Sullinger wasn’t in shape at the time, and Miami didn’t make him an offer. The big man has since signed with a team in China.
  • Jackson also notes that the Heat still have one of their two-way slots open, suggesting that camp invitee Matt Williams is a candidate for that spot since his contract can be converted into a two-way deal.
  • In an Ask Ira feature, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel wonders if all the incentive bonuses on new contracts for players like Dion Waiters and Kelly Olynyk may put head coach Erik Spoelstra in a difficult spot this season.
  • If you haven’t weighed in already, be sure to vote on the Heat’s win total for 2017/18. Polling will close on Tuesday morning.

Jared Sullinger Signs With Chinese Team

Jared Sullinger, who was linked to the Nets in rumors this summer, has signed with the Shenzhen Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association, tweets international writer David Pick. Sullinger agreed to a two-month contract worth $300K.

It will be the first time playing overseas for the 25-year-old power forward, who was picked 21st in the 2012 draft. Sullinger spent four productive years with the Celtics, averaging 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, although there were lingering concerns about his conditioning.

He signed with the Raptors last summer, but underwent foot surgery just before the start of the season and was barely able to contribute. Sullinger managed just 11 games in Toronto and was shipped to Phoenix at the February trade deadline. He was immediately waived by the Suns.

The Nets’ interest was rumored for a couple of months after the team scouted him in The Basketball Tournament in July. Sullinger adopted a vegan diet and dropped weight in hopes of an NBA comeback. His agent, David Falk, confirmed in August that Sullinger was “exploring the opportunity” of signing in Brooklyn, but the Nets are close to an agreement with free agent big man Tyler Zeller, leaving China as the best remaining option for Sullinger.

Jared Sullinger Works Out For Nets

After a photo showing Jared Sullinger wearing Nets gear surfaced on social media, agent David Falk informed Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News that his client is “exploring the opportunity” of signing with Brooklyn. Per NetsDaily (Twitter link), Sullinger was in Brooklyn for a workout with the Nets.

Sullinger, a first-round pick in 2012, was a solid rebounder and scorer for the Celtics during his first four NBA seasons, averaging 11.1 PPG and 7.7 RPG over the course of his time in Boston. However, after he signed with the Raptors for the 2016/17 campaign, his season was derailed by injuries — the big man appeared in just 11 games for Toronto and was ineffective in limited minutes.

If Sullinger is healthy and his weigh isn’t an issue, he’d be an intriguing addition to the Nets’ frontcourt. The five-year veteran is still just 25 years old, and Brooklyn could use some help up front after trading away Brook Lopez, Andrew Nicholson, and Justin Hamilton in various deals this summer. The club acquired Timofey Mozgov and drafted Jarrett Allen, but adding some depth behind Trevor Booker at power forward would make sense.

Currently, the Nets have 18 players under contract, but two of those players are on two-way contracts and three others have non-guaranteed deals. That leaves two potential spots available on the club’s 15-man roster — Spencer Dinwiddie is a good bet to grab one of those spots, but the other remains open for someone like Sullinger.

Nets Notes: Offseason Trades, Anderson, Crabbe

The Nets’ moves this offseason may form the foundation of the team for several years to come, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn has taken advantage of its cap space to pick up assets while absorbing salary, adding D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe and DeMarre Carroll, among others.

GM Sean Marks has been assessing the team since the flurry of deals and indicated that he may be done with major moves. “We’re continuously going to be trying to have our finger on the pulse of the league and see what happens,’’ he said. “I think we’ll take a little bit of a deep breath and just see what shakes out here. But I don’t know. Who knows what’s going to happen throughout the year? I think if you’d asked us a month ago, we couldn’t have predicted all the things that may have happened, not just here but around the league. It’s something that we’ve just got to stay fluid and be ready to react.”

The Nets could use more size in the frontcourt, where newly acquired Timofey Mozgov and rookie Jarrett Allen are the only players taller than 6’8″. They still have interest in former Celtic and Raptor Jared Sullinger, who earned all-tournament honors at The Basketball Tournament this week.

There’s more tonight out of Brooklyn:

  • The Nets are no longer in contention to sign Alan Anderson, Lewis adds in the same story. Anderson’s agent, Chris Luchey, confirms that he talked to Brooklyn’s front office shortly after free agency began, but after all the Nets’ moves, they are no longer a possible destination. Lewis adds that the Knicks are also out of the running.
  • Crabbe will provide shooting help, but the team is counting on him to do much more, Lewis relays in a separate story. Crabbe was the NBA’s second best 3-point shooter last year, connecting at a .444 rate beyond the arc, while the Nets ranked fifth from the bottom in that category. “We sat with Allen [and said]: ‘Look, we think we can help your game. We think we can take it to another level. Let’s not just be a shooter,’” Marks said. “And he’s excited about that. He’s got a chip on his shoulder, and he wants to take his game to another level, all-around facets. It’s not just shooting. It’s defense. It’s everything.”
  • Brooklyn needs to find another frontcourt player who can shoot the 3-ball, writes Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily. The Nets have about $5.1MM in cap space they could use to find a shooter who fits coach Kenny Atkinson’s system better than the players they have now.

Jared Sullinger Headed To China?

Amid rumors that former Celtics forward Jared Sullinger is eyeing an NBA comeback, the 25-year-old is reportedly headed to China, according to Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily (via Twitter). The former 21st overall pick had a solid showing at The Basketball Tournament in Brooklyn this week — with the Nets on hand to watch Sullinger — as he scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds while shooting 50% from the floor.

After struggling with is weight in recent seasons, admittedly topping out at 320 pounds, Sullinger now weighs in around 285 pounds. The Nets had interest in the 6’9″ Sullinger as he would provided Brooklyn with frontcourt depth; outside of recently acquired Timofey Mozgov and rookie Jarrett Allen, the team lacks in that department.

In five NBA campaigns, the Ohio State product averaged 10.8 PPG and 7.5 RPG for the Celtics and Raptors. As recently as 2015/16, Sullinger averaged a near double-double as he posted totals of 10.3 PPG and 8.3 RPG in 81 games for Boston.

There is no further information on which team in Chinese team Sullinger will suit up for, but we will pass along that information once it’s available.

Nets Interested In Jared Sullinger?

The Nets are in attendance at The Basketball Tournament in order to evaluate Jared Sullinger, according to ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla (h/t Eleven Warriors’ Dan Hope).

Sullinger said he was aware of the Brooklyn’s presence, but wasn’t putting much stock into it. “I didn’t pay attention to it,” said Sullinger (via Net Income of SB Nation). “But I am unemployed at the moment. So just trying to get a job.”

Evan Turner, who played alongside the big man at Ohio State, was also in attendance Sullinger’s game. Turner believes the 25-year-old free agent deserves another chance in the NBA. “The numbers say enough,” said Turner of Sullinger’s game over the weekend. “21 points, 50 percent from the field, 50 percent from the three, all five free throws, nine rebounds, four assists, one turnover for a big man.”

Sullinger signed a one-year, $6MM deal with Toronto last offseason before injuring his foot during the preseason. He was only able to suit up in 11 games for the Raptors and the franchise dealt him to the Suns at the trade deadline. Phoenix subsequently waived him.

Weight has been an issue for Sullinger during his career, but he’s reportedly eating vegan, which has helped him manage this area. The power forward recently told Rob Oller of The Columbus Dispatch that he has this issue under control.

Jared Sullinger Eyes NBA Comeback

Jared Sullinger, who was cut by the Suns in February, is looking to return to the NBA. This weekend Sullinger will display his skills and recent weight loss in Brooklyn at The Basketball Tournament, with several professional teams in attendance, including the Nets, Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors (link via Twitter) passes along, from the mouth of Fran Fraschilla.

Rob Oller of The Columbus Dispatch interviewed Sullinger about the power forward’s struggles, progress, and aspirations. Sully says he weighed as much as 320 pounds when he was with the Celtics“I lost a year of basketball directly because of what I have done — my weight and my eating habits,” he said. Sullinger explained that his unwillingness to lose weight led Boston to release him in 2016 and the Raptors to trade him to Phoenix in late February. The Suns released him the next day.

Sullinger has now been a vegan for three weeks and is down to a svelte 285 pounds. The grand prize of The Basketball Tournament for many is $2MM, but for Sullinger, the true treasure could be an NBA or overseas contract.

In five NBA seasons, the Ohio State product has averaged 10.8 PPG and 7.5 RPG. In two consecutive seasons for the Celtics, Sully averaged a career-high 13.3 points per contest.

Heat Met With Jared Sullinger

Having been sent to Phoenix in a deadline-day trade, Jared Sullinger was subsequently waived and became a free agent. Now, he’s in the “exploratory stages” of finding a new team, per agent David Falk, who confirmed to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter link) that Sullinger met with Heat president Pat Riley in recent days.

As Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel observes (via Twitter), the Heat may soon have a roster spot opening up, if they can finalize the removal of Chris Bosh‘s contract from their books. Although that spot isn’t necessarily ticketed for Sullinger, Winderman reports that the Heat have “kicked the tires” on the veteran big man.

Sullinger, who turned 25 on Saturday, averaged at least 10.3 PPG and 7.6 RPG in each of his previous three seasons with Boston before signing a one-year pact with the Raptors last summer. However, his season was derailed by foot surgery, which prevented him from making his debut with Toronto until well until the new year. For the season, Sullinger has played sparingly in just 11 games, averaging 3.4 PPG and 2.5 RPG.

While a healthy Sullinger could potentially be an asset to a team in need of rebounding help and interior scoring down the stretch, he didn’t look to be at 100% during his time with the Raptors. Any team with interest in adding him as a free agent in the coming days or weeks will likely want to take a close look at his health and conditioning before making any commitments.

Celtics Rumors: Bogut, T. Jones, Sullinger

The Celtics had been in the running to sign veteran center Andrew Bogut, but with the former No. 1 pick opting to sign instead with the rival Cavaliers, Boston doesn’t exactly have a Plan B in place, writes Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald.

A source tells Murphy that, while the two sides were reportedly in touch, Terrence Jones doesn’t appear to be a target for the Celtics. However, team management hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a reunion with Jared Sullinger “somewhere down the line if it is needed.” As Murphy suggests, Sullinger has battled conditioning and health issues, and he hasn’t been himself this season, but the Ohio State product – who turns 25 this Saturday – has made the Celtics a better rebounding team in the past.

Here’s more from out of Boston:

  • Although the Celtics haven’t closed the door on re-adding Sullinger, a reunion is “highly unlikely,” says A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
  • A source tells Murphy that the Celtics may simply decide to rely on in-house options as they try to improve their rebounding, though they’ll keep an eye out for potential upgrades. “There’s nothing imminent; (the Celtics) will continue looking and see what happens,” the source said. Chris Mannix of The Vertical also hears that the C’s are likely to stand pat with their current roster.
  • According to a separate source, the Celtics had internally debated the value Bogut would have in the lineup, Murphy writes. Due to concerns about Bogut’s health and uncertainty about whose minutes he would take, members of the Celtics had “mixed reviews” on whether or not the veteran center would be a good addition, Murphy’s source said.

And-Ones: Jones, Thornton, Suns, Raptors

The Pelicans waived Terrence Jones on Thursday after being unable to find a trade partner for him and the Nets waived Marcus Thornton after acquiring him in the Bojan Bogdanovic trade. Both players have cleared waivers and are free to sign with any team, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link).

Jones should have no problem finding a new home. He’s a productive 25-year-old big man who was averaging 11.5 points per game in New Orleans while sporting a 16.2 player efficient rating.

Thornton may have to wait slightly longer to find a new club, but he should be able to help a team fill out the back end of its rotation.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Hawks sent $500K to the Suns as part of the Mike Scott trade, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). In addition to the cash considerations, Phoenix received the draft rights to Cenk Akyol for taking on Scott’s contract, while Atlanta received a protected second-round pick.
  • As part of the P.J. Tucker deal, the Raptors sent the Suns cash considerations of $1MM, Pincus tweets. Phoenix also received Jared Sullinger and two second-round picks in the deal. The Suns waived Sullinger on Friday.
  • The Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s D-League affiliate, has traded Cameron Jones to the Canton Charge, leagues sources tell Adam Johnson of D-League Digest (Twitter link).
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