KEY POINTS

  • Kelly Olynyk's playing time continues to go down with the Miami Heat
  • Olynyk could be joining Dion Waiters and James Johnson in the Doghouse
  • Olynyk could be traded to teams willing to absorb his hefty contract

The Miami Heat have managed to surprise many, banking on Jimmy Butler and young stars like Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson. They are currently at the third spot of the NBA Eastern Conference but need more help from their bench.

One player seemingly dodged out of head coach Erik Spoelstra's rotation is Kelly Olynyk. The 28-year-old previously normed about 23 minutes for Miami but his time on the floor has gone down. Now, the 6-foot-11 big man is only getting around 10 minutes of action playing behind Meyers Leonard. And moving forward, it appears his minutes on the floor are dwindling with each game.

For the season, Olynyk has averaged 7.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. These are dips from his career averages of 9.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists, per Basketball-Reference. For someone being paid $11 million this season, those are mediocre numbers. According to Spotrac, he has one year remaining in his four-year deal with the Heat worth $12 million before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2021.

With the trend, Olynyk is well on his way to joining Dion Waiters and James Johnson spending more time on the bench. Looking further, one has to wonder if Miami would eventually offer the Canadian to other NBA teams. With the trade deadline fast approaching, that is a possibility - assuming some ballclub would be willing to take in the remainder of his hefty deal.

As mentioned in a previous post, the Heat could use some help moving forward. Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder was widely rumored at the start of this NBA season but his contract stood in the way. Instead, Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans as suggested as an alternative. But do the Pelicans need someone like Olynyk on the roster?

The Cleveland Cavaliers could be another potential trade partner. Kevin Love has been linked to the Miami Heat as well, someone who also owns a hefty deal. But for that to work, the Heat will have to include more players, like maybe adding Waiters and/or Johnson in the deal.

Miami could include their first-round pick next season, something that could spur Cavs' interest. If it does happen, it should be noted that the Heat will have no more picks at their disposal until 2022.

These are simple scenarios the Heat can explore. Either that or Olynyk finds a way to bring up his playing minutes to normal once more.

Kelly Olynyk #9 of the Miami Heat Kelly Olynyk #9 of the Miami Heat reacts against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Photo: Getty Images | Ronald Martinez