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Rockets insiders shed light on Kelly Olynyk’s long-term future with team

Kelly Olynyk #9 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Kelly Olynyk #9 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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When Kelly Olynyk was included in the Victor Oladipo trade, many viewed him as just a salary fill-in, as his outgoing $12.2 million was needed for Miami to make way for Oladipo’s incoming $21 million. All in all the Houston Rockets received Olynyk, Avery Bradley, and a future pick swap for Oladipo, which drew instant criticism from all angles.

The criticism seemed fair at the time, as the Rockets were giving away a two-time All-Star and were receiving two players who many believe could very well not be on the roster next season, as Bradley has a team option worth $5.9 million while Olynyk will be an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the season. But Olynyk has played the best stretch of basketball of his entire career, as he’s averaged 18.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and one block on 58.2 percent from the field, 37.9 percent from 3-point range, and 73.3 percent true shooting.

These marks represent career bests for Olynyk in points, assists, blocks, field goal percentage, and true shooting percentage. Olynyk’s strong play has led many to question whether he will be back in Houston next season, as the Rockets would have to give him a new deal, since his current contract is set to expire at the end of the season.

Houston Rockets insiders shed light on Kelly Olynyk’s long-term future with the franchise

Rockets insider Tim MacMahon discussed Olynyk’s long-term future with the team on The Hoop Collective podcast.

“With Olynyk, there’s a chance Olynyk might be back in Houston next year. We’ll see how that works out.”

Jonathan Feigen, who covers the Houston Rockets for the Houston Chronicle, elaborated further on Olynyk’s chances of remaining with the team beyond this season during NBC Houston’s Texas Sports Nation.

“Part of the equation of bringing him back, since he will get offers from very good teams, is can you get extra minutes for him by playing with Wood, as opposed to just 16 minutes per game as his backup.

And that’s another thing they can find out through the balance of the season. How can they mesh and work together so you can have two bigs on the floor at once? And this terrible defensive rebounding team can maybe pick itself up a little bit as a rebounding team.”

Olynyk last received a four-year deal worth upto $50 million from Miami in 2017, which is an average annual value of $12.5 million. This seems like a good gauge of the annual figure the Rockets would have to give him, but if the Rockets would be able to somehow get Olynyk at $10 million or less annually, that would be quite the bargain for Rockets GM Rafael Stone and would make the decision to keep him much easier.

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