Nothing he hasn't done before

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Nothing he hasn't done before

If you want it, go out and get it.

Jared Sullinger's family delivered the message to the youngest sibling from the day he began
playing basketball.

At four years old, he learned how to fight for rebounds against his two older brothers. There was no special treatment for the toddler. If he wanted to shoot the ball, he had to fight for it himself.

Success will not be handed to you.

Sullinger took that mentality and ran with it, even when met with obstacles he had to maneuver his way around.

He battled with his weight as a child and suffered teasing from those less tolerant of his struggle.

Other kids called him "Bozo" when his feet skyrocketed to his current shoe size, 18, in middle
school.

Even when he excelled as a high school star and became a standout at The Ohio State
University, his NBA future was clouded by a herniated disc which caused teams to pass by him in the 2012 NBA Draft.

The Celtics saw potential, not red flags, and selected Sullinger with the 21st overall pick. They were aware of his condition and understood there could be issues in the future, but they could not ignore the talent, hustle, and passion exuded by the 20 year old forward.

Sullinger immediately latched on to the Celtics system and tradition when he joined the team last summer. He spoke at Las Vegas Summer League in July about accepting his (lesser) role, and joined his teammates in Waltham a month later for pre-season workouts at the Celtics practice facility. In September, he began soaking up as much wisdom as he could from Kevin Garnett and quickly earned the respect of the hard-to-please veteran, as well as teammates and coaches alike.

While he faced rookie challenges in game competition (he fouled out six games in January
alone), those in the Celtics organization took notice of his quick progress. After years in which rookies rode the bench, Sullinger was given the nod to start in five games, including Sunday's high-tension battle against the Miami Heat. He had also started Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings in which he left the game early in the first quarter with back spasms. On Friday, the Celtics announced he underwent lumbar disc surgery at the New England Baptist Hospital and will miss the remainder of the season.

The Celtics expect Sullinger (6.0 points, 5.9 rebounds) to be ready in time for training camp next season. On the day of his surgery, the rookie is most likely already thinking about his return.

The road to his recovery will not be easy, but nothing about Sullinger's career has been. If he
wants it, he will have to go out and get it.

He's been doing it his whole life.

Texas Hold'em: Noel would interest Celts, but Mavs probably won't let him go

Texas Hold'em: Noel would interest Celts, but Mavs probably won't let him go

The Celtics' two main targets in free agency are expected to be Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin. But what if neither signs here . . . or what if the C's have other plans? This week, we'll look at some of  'The Other Guys' who might interest the Celtics: TODAY: Dallas' Nerlens Noel.

BOSTON -- When the Celtics had trade talks with Philadelphia last season, it was no secret they had their eyes set on Nerlens Noel.
 
The 23-year-old has shown tremendous potential as an elite, rim-protecting big man.

THE OTHER GUYS: POTENTIAL CELTIC FREE-AGENT TARGETS


The Dallas Mavericks saw those same qualities, which is why they engineered a trade for him last season despite knowing he would be a restricted free agent this summer.
 
And while he would certainly be the kind of player Boston would absolutely love to add to the mix, seeing the Mavericks go in a different direction seems highly unlikely.
 
But until he signs with the Mavericks or any other team, the Celtics can’t be totally discounted as a possibility if they strike out on Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin.
 
WE LIKE HIM BECAUSE . . .
 
His proven body of work and his potential. Noel has shown flashes of being a decent player offensively, but he’s going to get paid handsomely this summer because of his defense and rebounding.
 
According to Basketball-reference.com, Noel has been among the NBA’s top 10 in defensive box plus/minus two of his three NBA seasons.
 
During the 2014-15 season, his defensive plus/minus was +4.5 (fourth in the NBA) and the following season it was +3.4 (eighth in the NBA).
 
And while his upside is viewed primarily through a defensive prism, his presence on the floor seemed to provide a much-needed jolt to the Mavericks offensively.
 
In his 22 games with Dallas, he averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds with a solid offensive rating of 106.1.
 
NOT CRAZY ABOUT . . .
 
You love Noel’s length and athleticism, but you wish he would add some weight to withstand the physical rigors of playing primarily in the post. In an ideal world, Noel will add another 10-15 pounds, which would put him weight-wise similar to another standout Maverick from a few years back, Tyson Chandler. But Noel’s narrow shoulders and pogo-stick thick legs will likely result in his current 228-pound frame not changing much in the near future. He will still be a factor defensively, but there will be nights when stronger, more physical centers will give him problems. Fortunately for him and the Mavericks, big men whose strength is well, their strength, are becoming scarce in this new age of position-less basketball in the NBA.
 
IN CONCLUSION . . .
 
Noel would look really good in a Celtics uniform, but there’s little to no chance the Mavericks allow him to get away. They've made it clear that re-signing the 6-foot-11 big man is their top priority. And short of Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry saying they want to become a Maverick, it’s highly unlikely Dallas will change course.
 
PRICE TAG
 
Four-year, $106.4 million. That’s the most a team outside of Dallas can offer the soon-to-be restricted free agent. Noel knows the Mavericks won’t hesitate to offer him a max contract, which would give him more guaranteed years (five), better raises (eight percent versus five percent) and a total package of $143.55 million, which is more than $37 million beyond what other teams like the Celtics can offer.
 
Again, something would have to go unexpectedly wrong for Noel to wind up on any roster other than the Mavericks.