Celtics exercise third-year option on forward Jared Sullinger

As expected, the Celtics exercised the third-year option on forward Jared Sullinger’s rookie contract, the team announced Thursday.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge had said earlier in the week that the team would make such a move, which will pay Sullinger, the former first-round draft pick, about $1.4 million next season — a relative bargain considering his talent level.

Sullinger was suspended by the team for the season-opening loss to the Raptors in Toronto Wednesday. The one-game suspension was imposed by the Celtics for his role in an altercation with his girlfriend in late August that led to him facing domestic violence charges. The charges were subsequently dismissed.

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The 6-foot-9-inch Sullinger played just 45 games his rookie season before having back surgery. In those 45 games, he averaged 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game.

During the 2013 preseason, he averaged 10.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.0 steal in 20.6 minutes per game.