KEY POINTS

  • Celtics may want to consider a reunion with Kelly Olynyk to add more muscle upfront
  • Olynyk has proven he can contribute both on offense and defense
  • Olynyk fits the trade player exception money that the Celtics can use this offseason

Boston -- The Boston Celtics fell short of winning the 2022 NBA title, falling to the Golden State Warriors in six games. Regardless, the fact that the Cs got that far with most not even considering them as a contender is already an accomplishment on its own.

Heading into the offseason, the Celtics know they have to address team needs. They have a $17.1 million traded player exception (TPE) in hand, which came about following the sign-and-trade deal involving Evan Fournier to the New York Knicks.

With that in mind, it all boils down to what kind of player coach Ime Udoka needs. The frontline could use some muscle, and adding a veteran would make sense.

A player that could fit that need is Kelly Olynyk. The 31-year-old cager started his career in Boston and played there until 2017. He has since bounced to the Miami Heat and the Houston Rockets and is currently with the Detroit Pistons.

In the eyes of Andy Bailey of the Bleacher Report, the 31-year-old bruiser would be a solid option for Boston as far as its TPE is concerned.

“Assuming they guarantee Al Horford’s $26.5 million salary for 2022-23, the Boston Celtics will return every key rotation player from the team that just made the NBA Finals,” Bailey suggested. “And that group is already one of the deepest and most well-balanced in the league.”

Olynyk had his best performance when he played for the Rockets during the 2020-21 season. He normed 19 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 27 games.

With the Pistons, his numbers dipped, with his playing time dwindling from 31.1 minutes to 19.1 minutes. This was mainly because Detroit focused more on the younger guys, such as Marvin Bagley and Isaiah Stewart. He managed only 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 40 games.

Although Boston still has Al Horford around, adding another player not afraid to mix it up would make sense for Udoka. Olynyk can play offense and defense, a role player who could provide the Celtics with the lacking stuff they had in the 2021-22 season.

Kelly Olynyk #13 of the Detroit Pistons
Kelly Olynyk #13 of the Detroit Pistons Getty Images | Mike Stobe
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