Monday, February 6, 2023

Rumor: Celtics have 'legitimate interest' in Kelly Olynyk ahead of trade deadline

The Celtics reportedly could purse former big man and fan favorite Kelly Olynyk ahead of the NBA trade deadline, per Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston.

The Utah Jazz forward is averaging 11.7 points on 48.8% shooting from the field and 40.4% from deep so far this season, to go along with 5.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 42 games (all starts) for first year head coach and former C's assistant; Will Hardy.
"I asked a couple people around the league, and league sources indicate the Celtics' interest here is real," Forsberg said this past Friday
Last week, Steve Bulpett of, reported that the C's are "looking at the possibility" of a reunion with the 6-foot-11 Olynyk -- noting that the Miami Heat were one of the other teams also showing interest in reacquiring the veteran ahead of the Feb. 9 deadline.

While Olynyk's contract is worth $12.8 million this season, only $3.0 million of a his $12.2 million salary for the 2023-24 campaign is guaranteed (before June 28) -- becoming an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2024.

According to Forsberg, the Celtics would have to most likely include Danilo Gallinari, along with Payton Pritchard, and Justin Jackson in a potential trade package to somewhat match outgoing salary.

Olynyk, who was selected as the 13th overall pick in the 2013 Draft, spent the first four seasons of his pro career in Boston before signing with the Miami Heat in the summer of 2017. After four years in South Beach, he was traded to Houston Rockets at the 2021 deadline and later signed a new three-year deal with the Detroit Pistons that summer. The veteran forward was traded once again in the 2022 offseason to the Jazz.

Though not known as defensive specialist, Olynyk would fit in perfectly as another big who can spread the floor, while complementing Al Horford, Robert Williams and Grant Williams at either power forward or center position, fortifying the Celtics' frontcourt look as the team looks to make another deep run to the NBA Finals.
"I think that's something that has to intrigue the Celtics," Forsberg said. "He's someone who would definitely play in a playoff series. There's going to be some competition for Kelly Olynyk, not the least of which will be Miami -- another team that's had him. I'm very interested to see how it plays out. But it's someone I think the Celtics have legitimate interest in."
Olynyk has career averages of 10.2 points on 47.7% shooting (36.8% from 3-point territory), 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists over nine seasons (652 games played).

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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