John Hollinger sees ‘one-year overpay’ path for Kelly Olynyk, Rockets


After touchdown the No. 2 general draft choose in June, Rockets basic supervisor Rafael Stone mentioned that Houston is extra prone to function above the NBA’s wage cap through the 2021 offseason. That path may increase the percentages of a reunion with free agent large man Kelly Olynyk, since working above the cap would permit the Rockets to retain their Chicken rights on Olynyk and exceed the cap to provide him a brand new contract.

Even so, it’s removed from a given {that a} deal between Olynyk and the Rockets will get to the end line. Whereas the Rockets actually appreciated what the 30-year-old did in Houston this previous season, he’s not a star — they usually aren’t possible to provide him the kind of long-term contractual dedication that might restrict their capacity to pursue elite free brokers in future years. As a rebuilding staff, the short-term increase that Olynyk would offer the roster wouldn’t be value considerably limiting long-term flexibility.

Nevertheless, it’s actually doable that the perimeters may discover a glad medium. As one instance, maybe Olynyk indicators a multi-year cope with a low sufficient common annual worth — even perhaps declining because the years progress — that Stone is assured in Olynyk retaining optimistic commerce worth. That may make him simple to dump, if cap room is required.

One other path could possibly be paying Olynyk will above his market price in trade for him taking a contract as quick as one 12 months. For instance, if Olynyk was supplied one thing within the vary of $30 million over three years by one other staff, the Rockets may bid $20 million for one 12 months — and it’s fairly doable (and maybe possible) that Olynyk would finally exceed the three-year supply, once you issue within the one-year balloon fee and no matter deal he receives in 2022 free company. From Houston’s perspective, that will retain their desired flexibility, as nicely.

In his newest free company preview article for The Athletic, former NBA govt John Hollinger is pointing to such a state of affairs.

After the Warmth traded him for Victor Oladipo, Kelly Olynyk was low-key fairly good for a Rockets staff that in any other case was fairly unhealthy. Whereas he’s not for everyone given his defensive limitations, Olynyk takes expenses, can play some 4 and has the offensive versatility to perform both as a task participant with starters or as a fulcrum with the second unit.

The groups which are prone to worth him most, nevertheless, are additionally ok that they aren’t utilizing cap room to signal a participant like Olynyk. That would cap his purposeful market on the midlevel exception except he goes the route of signing a one-year overpay in Houston and volunteering himself as a midseason commerce chip.

Briefly, Hollinger’s logic is that the restricted groups with main cap room in 2021 will possible view Olynyk by the same lens because the Rockets. In different phrases, whereas he’s a very good participant, it’s not value it for a non-contender to decrease its future flexibility for a non-star who’s now 30. As for contenders, most (if not all) might be restricted to providing the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, which began at simply over $9 million per 12 months final offseason. That would present a robust monetary incentive for Olynyk to think about a bloated one-year proposal, if Houston is keen to supply it.

In 27 video games with the Rockets, Olynyk averaged 19.0 factors (54.5% FG, 39.2% on 3-pointers), 8.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 31.1 minutes. Statistically, it was by far the most effective manufacturing of Olynyk’s eight-year NBA profession, which has featured stints in Houston, Boston, and Miami.


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