Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens announced Monday that Kelly Olynyk is medically cleared for non-contact drills, but his availability for the start of the 2016-17 season remains in doubt, according to Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com.
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Olynyk to Be Re-Evaluated Oct. 15
Monday, Sept. 26
Olynyk is still recovering from the surgical procedure he had on his right shoulder in May.
The 25-year-old is entering a pivotal season since he can become a restricted free agent in the offseason. While he has shown himself to be a dependable rotational big man, he also failed to play in more than 70 games in any of his first three years in the league.
Olynyk averaged a healthy 10.0 points and 4.1 rebounds in 20.2 minutes per game in 2015-16, but a shoulder injury knocked him out for a stretch last winter and limited him in the postseason.
The offseason addition of Al Horford has meant Olynyk isn't as integral to Boston's success in 2016-17. Horford is a solid scorer and rebounder whose talents are often underrated. Stevens will likely look to Tyler Zeller more to pick up any minutes Olynyk potentially leaves in his absence.
More so than the Celtics, the injury has a bigger impact for Olynyk, especially if he's forced to miss a prolonged period of time to begin the upcoming campaign. He could parlay a nice season into a hefty payday in free agency, but going through a fourth straight year with questions about his health may turn some teams off on potentially signing him in the summer.