Jared Sullinger has been a big boy for a long time and in the past he’s used it to his advantage, however, he admitted to Rob Oller of The Columbus Dispatch that being fat finally caught up to him last season.
“My biggest was 320, when I was finishing my fourth year with Boston (2015-2016),” the 25-year-old offered. “Honestly, it was embarrassing.”
“I lost a year of basketball directly because of what I have done — my weight and my eating habits,” he said.
Sully tips the scales at 285 these days
Trying to fill a gaping defensive hole created when Bismack Biyombo was paid a fortune by the Magic last summer, the Raptors signed Sullinger as a free agent in the hopes the big man would rebound and build a different kind of defensive wall.
“Defensive rebounding and building a wall,” Ujiri responded to Pro Bball Report last summer. “I know Biyombo was a shot blocker, but we will probably have a different type of defense now with a big wall there and sometimes now you might not get that shot blocked, but (Sullinger) will stand in front of you and you’ll know he’s there.”
The Raptors probably should have weighed him before signing him as Sullinger broke his foot in preseason and the team never did get to find out if he could provide the defensive presence they were hoping for.
Eventually Sullinger was cleared to return to action in January and got into a few games, but he wasn’t effective and the Raptors traded him to Phoenix for P.J. Tucker. at the trade deadline and the Suns immediately cut him.
Sullinger is still available as an unrestricted free agent and the 25-year-old would like to land a new job playing basketball somewhere. His foot should be 100 percent and he’s probably willing to keep losing weight, under the circumstances.
“I’m fighting, but it’s hard,” he said. “It’s a daily challenge.”
“Now that I have basketball and my health, I don’t give a damn about anything else,” he said.
Sullinger averaged 10.8 points and 7.5 rebounds in 269 games thru his first five NBA seasons, if he has his health and a real commitment to not be fat, he could be a cheap low risk/high reward addition for some GM willing to take a chance.