Celtics pick up option on Sullinger's rookie deal

Celtics pick up option on Sullinger's rookie deal
October 29, 2013, 6:15 pm
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(AP Photo)

WALTHAM, Mass. — Jared Sullinger may be suspended for the season-opener at Toronto, but the 6-foot-9 forward did get a bit of good news on Tuesday.

Danny Ainge, president of basketball operations for the Celtics, announced that Boston's third-year option on Sullinger's rookie contract would be picked up with a Thursday deadline looming.

Even though Sullinger was limited to 45 games last season following season-ending back surgery, it was a given that Boston would keep Sullinger around through the 2014-2015 season.

Sullinger had a strong rookie season, averaging six points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

The one-game suspension imposed by the Celtics on Sullinger was in connection with his involvement in a domestic violence incident on August 31 with his girlfriend, Deann Smith.

The charges against Sullinger were dismissed in Waltham District Court on Monday.

"We have higher expectations and standards and it was a distraction to our team during an important time in the summer," Ainge said.

Sullinger knew there was a chance that despite the case being dismissed, he would still be looking at some type of team-imposed punishment.

"I totally understand," Sullinger said when asked about the suspension. "We're trying to build a culture around here. I totally accept the one-game suspension."

An NBA official tells CSNNE.com that because the Celtics punished Sullinger, the league will not look to take any further action on the matter.

Sullinger said the entire incident was a "good learning lesson" that he wants to move past.

When asked about the lesson he takes from all this, Sullinger said, "Just discipline and understanding that what I do, doesn't only affect me but it affects so many other things. I just have to understand that in the long run."