Mavericks rookie center Dereck Lively II is expected to make his return from a left ankle sprain in tonight's Dallas-at-Phoenix Christmas Day finale, league sources say.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 25, 2023
More from around the league in the Monday Musings: https://t.co/HDFIBv8Jw5
From Stein’s article:
League sources say Boston is among the teams that is monitoring Utah’s Kelly Olynyk in advance of a potential trade pursuit.
Olynyk, as covered here before my Showcase trip, is one of a number of Jazz veterans known to be available and the Celtics obviously know him well.
Olynyk played his first four NBA seasons in Boston and is playing this season on an expiring $12.2 million deal, which has helped thrust him to the upper reaches of the list of Players Most Likely To Be Traded this season. He scored 27 points in 35 minutes for the Jazz as a starter in Utah’s recent win in Detroit without several regulars.
The 6-foot-11 Olynyk, who turns 33 in April, would seemingly make sense as a trade target for the Knicks as well given New York’s acute need for size in the wake of Mitchell Robinson’s ankle injury that is feared to be season-ending.
A lot to unpack here, but Olynyk has been quietly having a great offensive season for the Jazz as a connector between lineups. Utah has had so many different lineups on the floor and Olynyk has been a big part of making everything connect. Losing Olynyk would cause some issues on offense for the Jazz who lack a lot of good playmaking.
Olynyk also provides great shooting from the frontcourt shooting 41% from three. The only issue with Olynyk is the defense, where he hasn’t been very good for Utah. But if he goes to the Celtics he could provide some great depth for them, as they likely want to rest Al Horford more than they have. The question for Boston will be the cost. The Celtics have a trade exception from the Grant Williams trade but it’s only for $6.2M and Olynyk makes $12M, so it would have to be some collection of players from Boston. Would Boston be willing to give up one of their firsts that likely lands at the end of the first round? It could mean the difference between keeping their team healthy and a possible title.