Celtics Rumors: Kelly Olynyk 'Likely' to Become Unrestricted Free Agent

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2017

Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41) celebrates his basket with guard Isaiah Thomas (4) during the fourth quarter of Game 7 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Washington Wizards, Monday, May 15, 2017, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Kelly Olynyk may reportedly be heading toward unrestricted free agency. 

On Tuesday, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical cited sources who said the Boston Celtics' "pursuit of cap space makes it increasingly likely" the big man will become an unrestricted free agent.

This comes after Wojnarowski reported the Celtics were looking to acquire both Paul George and Gordon Hayward.

Wojnarowski explained the Celtics are striving to sign Hayward and then trade for George, and not bringing back Olynyk would open up some financial flexibility.

Brian Robb of Boston.com pointed out restricted free agents typically remain with their teams, but he said the Gonzaga product could be an exception because "his $7 million salary cap hold will be a roadblock to signing a max free agent."

As valuable as Olynyk has been as a rotational piece of Boston's frontcourt in recent seasons, he isn't worth being a roadblock to potentially adding an impact piece such as Hayward to the team.

If and when he hits the open market, Olynyk figures to draw plenty of interest as a 26-year-old who averaged 9.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in 2016-17 after posting double-digit scoring totals the previous two seasons. He can battle down low for rebounds and extend his game beyond the three-point line (36.8 percent in his career) as a matchup problem for opposing bigs.

He exploded for 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting in Game 7 of the second round against the Washington Wizards and can serve as a playoff-tested addition for a number of teams looking to take a step forward in 2017-18.


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