The Boston Celtics have surged in their quest for an improbable Playoff seed with injured Jared Sullinger watching from the sidelines, but the front-office wants the big fella to re-sign once he becomes a restricted free agent in 2016.
They just need him in reasonable basketball shape.
Sullinger has slimmed down (by “10 or 15 pounds”) as his lifelong battle with weight issues rages on, and says he’s willing to accept a weight clause in his next deal with the C’s.
The Celtics asked him to report to training camp this past October at 260-265 pounds, but instead he showed up 20 pounds heavier and gained even more weight as the season progressed. […] In spite of the added bulk, Sullinger posted career-high numbers — 14.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists. The results were at odds with the growing problem of his expanding physique, something Sullinger didn’t fully recognize until he was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left foot that ended his season.
“Obviously, we knew when we drafted him that weight was an issue,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. […] 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. “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?”