Kelly Olynyk will ride his limited athleticism to a long and productive NBA career.
The long-haired center from Gonzaga was originally selected 13th overall by the Dallas Mavericks in Thursday night's draft, but he quickly made his way to Boston.
The Celtics tweeted the news:
The Boston Celtics acquired the draft rights to Kelly Olynyk and Colton Iverson during Thursday night's NBA Draft: http://t.co/Vdh8pxNFcZ— Boston Celtics (@celtics) June 28, 2013
Of course, those weren't the only draft-day deals Boston was swinging. The Celtics made headlines with this trade tweeted by Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin:
Kevin Garnett agrees to deal that will send him and Paul Pierce to the Nets http://t.co/RK18Qg0IZC— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) June 28, 2013
Obviously, as that trade screams, this is a franchise in transition. Olynyk has a golden opportunity to cement himself as a key part of that rebuilding process.
Also, with the suddenly wide open front line in Boston, he should get ample opportunity for minutes in his rookie season. He will be productive in those minutes.
I'll break down his game, but here is what to expect from Olynyk in his maiden year in the NBA.
Kelly Olynyk's Projected Rookie Stat Line
26.5 minutes, 10.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists
Breaking Down Olynyk's Game
With a lack of athleticism, Olynyk will never be a dominant NBA presence; however, he can certainly be an effective one. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge helps shed some light on how Olynyk will make up for his lack of athleticism:
Ainge:"(Olynyk) isn't an explosive athlete but he's got a quick mind; that makes up for a lot. He's got a chance to be a good 3-pt shooter."— Boston Celtics (@celtics) June 28, 2013
Not surprisingly, Ainge appears to have done a nice job scouting Olynyk's strengths and weaknesses.
Olynyk has an excellent feel for the game. He makes advanced decisions and, given his touch, this makes him a valuable weapon.
How many points per game will Olynyk average next season?
The 7-footer can hit jump shots and pass. He will be able to stretch the floor and move the rock. These are always valuable skills in a player with his size. He can also put the ball on the floor with control, and he can even take slower defenders off the dribble.
He has a nice offensive arsenal while facing the basket, and that stretches out to the perimeter.
Olynyk is not going to be an elite rebounder, but his hands and feel for the game will allow for him to grab his share of boards.
Defensively, he is going to struggle. Olynyk has been adding bulk, which will help him mark centers, but he will always be hindered by his lack of athleticism.
This will cause some rough moments during his rookie campaign in Boston, but his offensive acumen will help keep him on the court and producing.