NBA rumors: 3 teams emerge as suitors for Jazz big man Kelly Olynyk
The Utah Jazz are expected to operate as sellers ahead of the Feb. 8 deadline. One popular name in the rumor mill is Kelly Olynyk. A lot of teams are clamoring for backup center help, and he's arguably the top option in that department. Olynyk's role has decreased slightly in Utah this season, but he's still averaging a well-rounded 8.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.4 assists on .562/.429/.842 splits in 20.4 minutes.
According to Yahoo's Jake Fischer, the Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors, and Philadelphia 76ers are interested in the 32-year-old Olynyk. The Boston Celtics were interested in a reunion, but their trade for Xavier Tillman Sr. puts an end to that dream. Olynyk is under contract through the end of the season at $12.2 million, so there are no long-term financial ramifications to a deal.
Olynyk would help every team listed. The Sixers in particular need frontcourt reinforcements after the Joel Embiid injury, which sidelines their starting center for at least four weeks. Olynyk is limited as a rim protector, but he's a mobile, high-I.Q. defender who brings a ton of value to the offensive end. He has been buried in the deep Jazz frontcourt, but Olynyk's skill set is scalable. In 27 games with the rebuilding Houston Rockets in the 2020-21 season, Olynyk averaged 19.0 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists on .545/.392/.844 splits. He has genuine equity as a shooter, passer, and face-up scorer. When needed, Olynyk can touch every aspect of an offensive possession.
The Warriors would benefit immensely from Olynyk's ability to spray passes to cutters and work two-man actions on the perimeter. For Miami, there is built-in familiarity. Olynyk spent the other half of the 2020-21 season with Erik Spoelstra's club. He's essentially an upgrade on the Kevin Love minutes. His greatest opportunity for playing time, at least in the short term, is Philadelphia.
Expect Olynyk to demand at least multiple second-round picks in a trade, maybe even a first-round pick.