It’s kind of a thin reed, but hey, not a lot of other Nets news out there.
Before “The Basketball Tournament” began at LIU Brooklyn Saturday, ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla dropped the tiniest of hints of Nets interest in Jared Sullinger, the 25-year-old free agent big.
Dan Hope who covers sports at Ohio State, where Sullinger played college ball, tweeted it out...
ESPN's Fran Fraschilla said the Brooklyn Nets are at @thetournament (in Brooklyn) today watching former #Buckeyes big man Jared Sullinger.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) July 22, 2017
The nationally televised tournament, which takes place at LIU Brooklyn, features teams of college alumni. They’re competing for a $2 million prize. Sullinger was a late-add to the Ohio State alumni squad.
Later, in a post-game interview, a reporter told Sullinger that the “Nets assistant GM” (that would be Trajan Langdon) was on hand for the game between Sullinger’s “Scarlet and Grey” and Bradley’s “Always a Brave.”
“I didn’t pay attention to it,” said Sullinger, “But I am unemployed at the moment. So just trying to get a job.”
Sitting next to Sullinger, his ex-teammate Evan Turner, endorsed his job search.
“The numbers say enough,” said Turner now with the Blazers. “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.”
Nets asst GM was at @thetournament today. Jared Sullinger had a great game and @thekidet asks if Aaron Craft can beat out D'Angelo pic.twitter.com/recCr7piyG— Rob Lopez (@R0BaTO) July 22, 2017
He did look good.
Jared Sullinger had himself a GAME, scoring 21 points on 7-of-14 FG and 9 rebounds, to lead @ScarletGrayTBT to a win! #TBT2017 #Super16 pic.twitter.com/NRPzDEHpLc— TBT (@thetournament) July 22, 2017
Sullinger hasn’t played since February when he put in limited minutes after returning from a foot injury. He was traded by the Raptors to the Suns at the February 23 deadline, then released.
Sullinger signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Raptors during the 2016 offseason after spending his first four seasons with the Celtics. The forward injured his foot in the preseason opener against the Warriors on October 1 and required a screw be inserted in his left foot . He returned in January but was sent down to the G-League where he played two games. On his return, he fell out of the rotation and was traded.
The Nets interest, if there is any, makes sense. When his weight is under control, Sullinger can play. In 2015-16, he started 73 games, averaging 10.3 points and 8.3 rebounds. For his career, the 25-year-old has averaged 10.8 and 7.5. He has limited range from deep.
The issue of course is his weight. He told the Columbus Dispatch Friday that’s at 285 pounds. His high, with the Celtics, was 320 which he told writer Rob Oller came “when I was finishing my fourth year with Boston (2015-2016). Honestly, it was embarrassing.”
Things have changed he told Oller. He has been eating vegan for about three weeks.