Former NBA big man Jared Sullinger has signed with the Shenzhen Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to international basketball reporter David Pick. Sullinger’s deal overseas is reportedly worth $300,000 over the course of two months.
The 25-year-old spent the 2016-17 campaign with the Toronto Raptors, playing in only 11 games due to undergoing foot surgery. He averaged 3.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in 10.7 rebounds per game, shooting just 31.9 percent from the floor, 16.7 percent from three-point range and 50 percent from the free-throw line. Sullinger, who played his collegiate basketball at Ohio State University, was originally selected by the Boston Celtics in the first round (21st pick overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft.
He had an impressive rookie season with the Celtics, posting six points and 5.9 rebounds over 19.8 minutes a night, making 49.3 percent of his field-goal attempts and 74.6 percent of his free throws. However, he was limited to 45 games after being knocked out with a back injury that would require surgery. The following year, Sullinger played in 74 games and made 44 starts, tallying 13.3 points and 8.1 boards across 27.6 minutes per game. While his counting numbers were solid, his efficiency suffered, as he shot just 42.7 percent from the field and made 26.9 percent of his long-distance tries.
He lasted four years with the Celtics before entering free agency in the summer of 2016. Boston let Sullinger walk without offering him a deal, and the Columbus, Ohio native proceeded to sign a one-year deal with the aforementioned Raptors. Due to his foot issue and poor conditioning, Sullinger played only scarcely.