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TBT showcase for a 25 year-old Jared Sullinger comeback attempt

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After 4 years with the Celtics, Jared lost his job and looks for redemption anywhere he can find it.

NBA: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Last March Jared Sullinger and his agent, David Falk, met with Pat Riley of the Miami Heat, but no offer resulted from that get together. Afterwards Falk said,

[The Heat] is a team we’re investigating and have a lot of respect for. Coach Riley has been a fan of Jared’s. I have had a very long relationship with coach Riley. He’s a guy I have great respect for.

The Basketball Tournament (TBT) bills itself as “Home of the $2 Million Dollar Championship.” As one of the participants, Sullinger was on the court to impress the NBA scouts there to get another chance for a roster spot in the NBA.

Wikipedia outlines his brilliant Ohio high school career, which at the time, offered an athletic teenager a world full of fame and riches.

Sullinger was rated as the number 2 player in the class of 2010 [98 grade] in the ESPNU 100, the number 4 player by Scout.com, and the number 5 player by Rivals.com. In his senior year, Sullinger led Northland High School to a 21-0 season and a #1 national ranking. He averaged 24.5 points and 11.7 rebounds for the season.

On March 10, 2010, Sullinger won the James A. Naismith Award, which goes to the boys basketball player of the year.

The college years were not so kind to Sullinger, when back issues surfaced to haunt him.

[Freshman] Sullinger was named a First Team All-American by Fox Sports.

[Sophomore] He was widely expected to be a lottery pick, until he was reportedly flagged by several teams after the Chicago pre-draft camp due to back issues.

In his first year as a pro with the Celtics the back problems returned once again.

On February 1, 2013, Sullinger underwent successful lumbar disk surgery and was subsequently ruled out for the rest of the season.

His body failed him again two years after that.

Sullinger was ruled indefinitely after X-rays on February 19 revealed a stress reaction in his left foot. Three days later, he was ruled out for the rest of the season after further medical evaluation determined that Sullinger had sustained a left metatarsal stress fracture.

When Sullinger was released by the Celtics, Fansided gave their take on him.

As an unrestricted free agent, Sullinger should be able to command some interest from other teams. Despite concerns about his weight and conditioning, executives know that the former Ohio State star is a ferocious rebounder.

One of the issues that the Celtics had with Sullinger is the fact that he had fallen in love with his outside shooting. The 24-year-old shot 28 percent from beyond the three point line. Sullinger will either need to improve his shooting or refrain from wandering out that far from the basketball more frequently.

Less than a year ago this happened.

The 2010 Naismith winner disappointed so many people along the way, he needs more than a “Get This Man a Job!” video to earn another opportunity for the NBA career his early promise seemed to guarantee.

247Sports writes,

Despite being just 25 years of age, Sullinger didn't draw any interest from around the league once he was waived by the Phoenix Suns in February. Now, the Ohio State product is plotting a return to the league now that he's cut down his weight from 320 pounds to 285 pounds.

The former lottery pick spent the first four seasons of his career with the Boston Celtics, serving as an on-and-off starter during his tenure in Boston. He also spent the 2016-17 season with the Toronto Raptors before he was traded to the Suns at the trade deadline, only to be waived the next day.

On the same team Jerome Randle demonstrates a serious handle worthy of the NBA, unused as the years usher in new, younger talent waiting for their turn on the big stage.

Deadspin has a melancholy story about the 30 year-old Randle’s life on the fringe.

The thing about Jerome Randle is this: He is very small. He’s been listed at 5’10” his entire career, but he’s really an inch shorter. This doesn’t prevent him from getting into the lane and finishing over much taller players, though. Like fellow Lilliputians Isaiah Thomas and J.J. Barea, Randle couples his quickness with a barrage of jittery hesitation moves to find little pockets of space near the hoop. He shot 46% from three and 93% on free throws in college, and his range demands defensive attention everywhere within half court, which opens up all kinds of lanes.

Couple that shooting ability with his all-world handle, and you have a viable backup point guard; Randle fits the mold of off-the-bench sparkplug, but his size is preventing NBA teams from taking a serious look at him. When I ask him about it, his voice takes on an edge. He has been playing the underdog his entire basketball career, and he is sick of only ever almost getting a legit chance.

Basketball never sleeps. Stop by its web site for some fun hoops by players whose dreams never die, even when the realities of advancing age and diminishing skills rear their ugly heads.