NBA Scouting Report, Analysis and Predictions for Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterMarch 2, 2013

SPOKANE, WA - MARCH 02:  Forward Kelly Olynyk #13 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs goes to the hoop against the Portland Pilots during the first half of the game at McCarthey Athletic Center on March 2, 2013 in Spokane, Washington.  (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
William Mancebo/Getty Images

After redshirting last year knowing his opportunity would be limited playing behind Robert Sacre, now of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kelly Olynyk has returned to the court with a completely revamped offensive repertoire.

He's arguably the most improved player in the country and has been the primary factor in Gonzaga's overwhelming success.

Olynyk's consistency and productivity have driven up his draft stock to the point where the 2013 lottery isn't out of the question.

He averaged 17.8 points and 7.3 rebounds on nearly 63 percent shooting  from the floor.


Physical Tools

Olynyk is seven feet tall but lacks the typical athleticism you see at the NBA level. He makes up for it with deceptive mobility and the ability to move fluidly in any and every direction.

Below, Olynyk demonstrates his lateral movement on the hedge, quick hands and forward acceleration:

Though he appears awkward, he's actually decently agile for a guy his size. He's capable of attacking the rim facing up and eluding defenders on the way with long, purposeful strides.


Offensive Skill Set

Olynyk is able to offset his athletic limitations thanks to a refined and polished offensive repertoire.

He's been unstoppable in the post, with a plethora of moves he can go to and others he can counter with. 

One of Olynyk's most helpful strengths is his ability to put himself in scoring position. He shot 62.9 percent on 10.7 field-goal attempts per game because every one of his looks is clean. Olynyk is able to recognize his defender's position and adjust to it.

Below, Olynyk moves his man farther from the rim to set up an entry pass that leads to an open layup inside:

He does the same thing from a different angle in the play below:

With the ball in his hands, Olynyk has a number of tricks up his sleeve. He's a strong back-to-the-basket scorer with the ability to create his own shot without fading away.

Watch him work while isolated in the post. He has nifty footwork, even though his foot speed is lacking.

Olynyk is also a very reliable jump shooter and can stretch the floor out to the three-point mark. And though he doesn't project as a perimeter scorer, an outside stroke simply diversifies his offensive services.

Overall, Olynyk illustrates top-notch instincts at the offensive end that will help him navigate around NBA power athletes.



Olynyk will be limited at the next level without the ability to consistently play above the rim.

He scores a portion of his points without actually leaving the floor. However, his physical limitations are much more likely to affect him as a rebounder and defender.

Though he's 7'0", Olynyk doesn't project as a shot-blocker or a volume rebounder. He only averaged 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game at Gonzaga, less than inspiring numbers for a player his size.


Draft Breakdown and NBA Outlook

Though Olynyk doesn't have All-Star upside, he's going to provide a lineup with a reliable source for half-court points—a valuable service to offer.

There are a number of centers in the projected field who he'll be competing against for draft position, including Maryland's Alex Len, Duke's Mason Plumlee and Indiana's Cody Zeller, but seven-footers who can score are always in need.

It wouldn't be out of the question for Olynyk to get looks at the back end of the lottery. Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and Dallas all seem like potential suitors.

With the ability to get himself easy scoring opportunities, Olynyk could be a very serviceable reserve or a potential starter if drafted into the right setting.