Could Jared Sullinger become rookie starter for Celtics?

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Jared Sullinger slid down the draft board back in June because doctors had red-flagged his back. There might be surgery needed.

He fell all the way to the Celtics, a team with a solid veteran power forward in Brandon Bass — a guy who hit some big shots and played a role in the team reaching the Eastern Conference finals.

Looks like Sullinger may slide right past Bass into the starting lineup.

Sullinger started Sunday for Boston in its second preseason game. You want to be careful reading too much into preseason lineup changes, but Sullinger was running with the starters in practice and coach Doc Rivers said he would consider it, according to Gary Washburn at the Boston Globe.

“I’m going to try (Sullinger) a couple of games, and then I’ll throw Brandon in and then I’ll put Darko (Milicic) in a couple of times,” Rivers said following the team’s workout Wednesday. “You can read into it whatever you want. But there’s been no decision made on anything.”

That’s a coach talking. In coach speak. But clearly Sullinger has caught his eye.

“I don’t really want to get into who’s starting who’s not yet. We’ll see. I’m not worried about our starting lineup. I’m far more worried about our second lineup, and that’s the lineup that we’re going to keep moving guys around.”

That second unit could really use a steady, smart, pick-and-pop big to provide some points. Someone just like Brandon Bass.