Houston Rockets big man Kelly Olynyk has seen his value skyrocket as of late, as he’s been the latest example of how a change of scenery and a new role can make all the difference in the world for a player. Olynyk was, of course, included in the trade that sent Victor Oladipo to the Miami Heat last month, which was a trade that drew a wide range of emotions.
When it was first announced that Oladipo had been dealt, Rockets fans cheered and expressed confidence in Houston Rockets GM Rafael Stone for being able to move Oladipo when it became a possibility that Oladipo may have had to play the remainder of the season in Houston. However, when the details were released of what the Rockets were getting back in return, the tune changed to a much different one, as the talk shifted to how Stone and the Rockets’ front office had gotten fleeced by Pat Riley and Miami’s front office.
Olynyk was sent to the Rockets (along with Avery Bradley and a pick swap), which left many in disbelief, as he was viewed as just a necessary salary fill-in to get the trade completed. After seven games with the Rockets, Olynyk has transformed from just a salary filler to a fan favorite and a player that many view as a must-have for the Rockets’ future.
Houston Rockets coach Stephen Silas explains what’s made Kelly Olynyk so successful in the Space City
Rockets coach Stephen Silas’ has crafted a system that caters to Olynyk’s strengths and abilities, as the 29-year-old big man has played his best stretch of basketball since joining the Space City. On Wednesday, Silas joined the Matt Thomas Show on SportsTalk 790 and explained what’s made Olynyk fit in so well in Houston.
“I’ve always known he could shoot but I also knew that he kind of likes to play in a way that he’s not going to be put in a box. So he will duck in the paint and post up some if he has a smaller guy on him.
He plays in a way that makes it easier for everybody else to play well. When he catches the ball it’s not just shot first, it’s see if there is a hand off that I can get to.
See if I can move and set a screen for somebody. See if I can get the offense moving a little bit better and more.”
But Olynyk’s value isn’t just limited to his production on the court either, as Silas explained.
“He’s super professional, has some really good ideas, and has seen a lot and been through a lot. He’s a confident guy and he’s definitely good for our group because we’re a younger group and we need some of that veteran know-how with our younger guys.”
Olynyk has averaged 17.4 points on 59.7 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from three as a member of the Rockets, while adding 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.1 steals and a block. With Olynyk having a successful trial run with the Rockets, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Rockets decided to give him a long-term contract when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.