Thus far, the star of the 2013 NBA Summer League has been Boston Celtics rookie Kelly Olynyk. From his surprisingly polished perimeter game to his work on the boards, Olynyk is emerging as a front-runner for the Orlando Summer League MVP award.
In the process, the former Gonzaga star has displayed elite offensive upside.
This may have the feel of a hyperbolic statement, but it shouldn't surprise anyone to see Olynyk thriving in his current capacity. Coming off of a season in which he posted a Player Efficiency Rating of 36.57 and scored in every manner imaginable, Olynyk impressed everyone who saw his game.
That's exactly why he ended up being selected No. 13 overall in the 2013 NBA draft.
Thus far, Olynyk is averaging 19.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.2 steals on 57.4 percent shooting from the floor. In turn, he's proven to not only be a motor player with passion (Tyler Hansbrough, anyone?) but also one with established skills.
While every rookie's game must be honed and perfected, Olynyk is one of the select few who could reach the ranks of the offensive elite.
At the core of Kelly Olynyk's success is a powerful 7', 234-pound frame. While many have the body of an NBA player, Olynyk is a rare breed who knows how to use his body to make an impact along the interior.
And he does so with supreme efficiency.
In his most recent outing, Olynyk finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, picking up six boards on the offensive end. He worked well out of the post and was 8-of-9 on two-point field-goal attempts.
A sign of things to come.
Olynyk can score with either hand when working out of the post, using the glass to convert high-percentage looks. He's also a terror when facing up, converting jump shots and attacking off of the bounce.
The fact that he can play along the perimeter simply makes his game all the more unpredictable.
Olynyk is regarded as a dangerous interior force, but during the 2012-13 college basketball season and the 2013 Summer League, Olynyk has become a perimeter threat. From his guard-like ball-handling ability to his smooth shooting stroke, he truly has it all.
At this point, it would be difficult to find what Olynyk can't do on offense.
Olynyk has displayed the ability to shoot the three-ball during his tenure in the Summer League, but that should come as no surprise. He worked out with guards at the Scouting Combine, showing his deep three-point range and quick release.
The fact that he can take his man off of the bounce and score in transition simply makes him all the more dangerous.
Olynyk should be the perfect complement to Rajon Rondo, serving as his slasher in the open court and spot-up shooter when the game slows down. Similar to how Kevin Garnett mastered the shot from the top of the elbow, Olynyk could serve that same purpose.
The key here isn't his skill, however. It's his motor.
Kelly Olynyk is far from the first big man to emerge from the college ranks with a dynamic offensive skill set. Unlike those who have failed to make that transition, however, Olynyk has something that often guarantees success.
What is Kelly Olynyk's upside as an NBA player?
A powerful motor.
Olynyk is one of the few players who can rival Victor Oladipo in that regard, giving an infectious effort on both ends of the floor. The best comparison for Olynyk would be Omer Asik, who went from a career reserve to a top-tier rebounder upon receiving starter's minutes.
The difference here is that Olynyk has every skill necessary to take over offensively.
With the rise of the stretch 4, Olynyk will have a place in the NBA as a jump-shooting big man. With the Celtics needing to improve their transition game and Jared Sullinger's health a question mark, adding a mobile low-post threat becomes all the more pressing a need.
Plain and simple, Olynyk has every strength to become an offensive star at the next level. Thus far at the Orlando Summer League, he's living up to that hype.