Houston Rockets re-signing Kelly Olynyk Con #1: His hot stretch might make him pricey
Before Kelly Olynyk was traded to the Houston Rockets he was enduring the worst season of his career. Through 43 games with the Heat, he had posted career lows in field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, and points per 36 minutes.
However, his torrid 17 game start to his Rockets career has seen him undo much of the damage he did over the first half of the season and could see him in line for a big payday. At one point the 2021 free-agent class looked to be one of the best in history until a flurry of extensions took marquee players off the table.
Olynyk is not a star by any means but he is a solid NBA veteran that will have a market from the teams left with cap space. While the Rockets will be one of the teams armed with cap space, they will likely prioritize young players and veterans on one-year deals.
Olynyk has firmly played himself out of the one-year deal range and at 30-years-old he doesn’t fit into a youth movement. His most recent deal, for four years and $50 million, looks to be the going rate for a player with his skillset and quality.
The Rockets would be wise to bring Olynyk back on a deal that pays him in the $8 million range annually but anything above that is too steep a price for a player that has much more value to a playoff team looking to round out their rotation. For rebuilding teams, veterans on multi-year deals are usually a waste of resources.
The value in bringing in a veteran for the Rockets is their ability to flip that player, which becomes harder when there are more years and dollars attached to a player. If Olynyk keeps up this pace for the Rockets he should be looking at a sizable contract.
Frontcourt players with his offensive skill set are valuable for teams in need of a varied roster to match up with opponents in the playoffs. For the Rockets, who won’t be ready for a deep playoff run next season, that versatility is wasted.
If Olynyk is willing to return for the right price and years, then the Rockets shouldn’t waste a moment and bring him back. However, the NBA is a business, and Olynyk will likely chase the largest dollar amount or the place where he can win, and in both of those scenarios, the Rockets are excluded.