Center Kelly Olynyk, the Kamloops, British Columbia native has recently left the Boston Celtics to sign a 4-year, $50 million dollar contract with the Miami Heat. This deal will have Kelly Olynyk making $12.5 million dollars per year.
It was quite likely Kelly Olynyk would leave Boston, as he usually doesn’t start for the Celtics and paying $12.5 million dollars for a 6th man is arguably a bit too much. Plus, Olynyk wants to go somewhere where he will be a starter.
Kelly Olynyk had average year for the Celtics, averaging 9.0 points per game, 2.0 assists per game, and 4.8 rebounds per game, while only averaging 20.5 minutes per game. He had an outstanding performance in game 7 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Washington Wizards, where he had 26 points in 28 minutes to help his team reach the conference finals. All this was enough to convince the Heat to sign him.
Olynyk will most likely start at power forward position in Miami next to center Hassan Whiteside. With the addition of Kelly Olynyk and the incredible end to the season the Heat had last year, they could very well make the playoffs in a brutally weak Eastern Conference.
While Olynyk may be a big power forward/center, a huge advantage to his game is that he does have the ability to shoot 3-pointers. He’s not a 3-point sniper, but he can reliably get a couple of threes a game. The ability for a big man to be able to shoot the three ball is crucial in today’s NBA.
However, the departure of Olynyk does leave some gaps for the Celtics to fill. With the departure of power forward/center, Amir Johnson to the Philadelphia 76ers, Olynyk would have been the best fit to replace him, but now since he is gone, it leaves questions to who will fill the gap.
Jae Crowder could replace him, but it is likely that Crowder will be traded to free up cap space. The other possibility is that the Celtics go after someone new to come in.
Overall, Olynyk leaving isn’t a terrible loss for the Celtics. But, Olynyk will definitely be a huge addition to the Miami Heat.