Heat Rumors: Kelly Olynyk Involved in Trade Talks Ahead of 2021 Deadline

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2021

Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk (9) runs up court in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

The Miami Heat might be shopping veteran big man Kelly Olynyk before the NBA's March 25 trade deadline, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Olynyk is averaging 10.5 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from long range through 40 games.

The Heat traded Meyers Leonard and a 2027 second-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Trevor Ariza on Wednesday.

Leonard is recovering from season-ending shoulder surgery and earned a one-week suspension from team activities and a $50,000 fine after using an anti-Semitic slur during a Call of Duty stream. His departure felt inevitable.

Olynyk, on the other hand, has been a steady member of the first unit, making 35 starts and averaging 27.1 minutes per game.

The team might have reservations about the 29-year-old's suitability for the postseason, though.

While he can space the floor, Olynyk's offensive value is limited. On defense, he's allowing opponents to shoot 43.2 percent on three-pointers, per NBA.com. When he's on the floor in the playoffs, opposing coaches will presumably look to exploit him frequently on defensive switches.

Olynyk is on an expiring contract as well. His $18.3 million cap hold for 2021-22, per Spotrac, carries some theoretical value to Miami, but the team might find something better in a trade.

Perhaps the Heat would also like to move him with an eye toward targeting a replacement on the buyout market once the deadline passes.