clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NBA trade rumors: Kelly Olynyk on the trade block for the Utah Jazz?

It appears a lot of teams are interested in Kelly Olynyk, which makes sense in a lot of ways

Utah Jazz v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

There’s two new trade rumors for the Utah Jazz that dropped today.

The first comes from Marc Stein in his latest substack. Stein mentions that Olynyk is “known to interest Boston and other contenders...”

Here’s the quote from Stein:

All seven teams (Boston, Denver, Golden State, LA Clippers, Miami, Milwaukee, Phoenix - mentioned earlier in the article), on paper, would typically be regarded as attractive destinations for veterans who secure buyouts after the Feb. 8 trade deadline, but they will be restricted to pursuing buyout players who were making less than the league’s $12.4 million mid-level exception for this season at the time they secured their release.

One hypothetical example: Utah’s Kelly Olynyk, who is known to interest Boston and other contenders, would be eligible to sign with any of those teams if he parted ways with the Jazz via buyout because he’s earning $12.2 million in Salt Lake City.

We’ve heard these rumors before that Olynyk is on the radar with a lot of these teams. The insinuation that Utah would buy out Olynyk doesn’t make sense. Why would the Jazz buy out Olynyk who is playing solid rotation minutes for the team? More likely, one of these teams is likely to make a move for Olynyk because they’re all not able to outbid each other now that they’re over the apron. Stein mentions that those teams “sport expensive payrolls that will prevent them from signing any player on the buyout market whose original salary this season was $12.4 million or higher.” This makes Olynyk interesting because of his $12.2 million salary. If one of those teams trade for Olynyk, they could possibly sign him for the mid-level exception at that level.

This actually makes Olynyk a really desirable piece. He’s a solid veteran that does everything you want on offense. He can pass, shoot and score in isolation. And the fact a team like this could sign him then re-sign him the following season makes him very valuable.

For Utah, they likely don’t plan on re-signing him next season as they’re probably hoping to give Taylor Hendricks more opportunity to play.

But wait, there’s more!

This come from Brian Windhorst and his most recent ESPN article talking about the players most likely to be traded.

Utah Jazz - Most likely to be traded: Kelly Olynyk

A versatile big who can stretch the foor with a $12 million expiring salary, Olynyk is among a few intriguing trade candidates on the Jazz. They traded key players last season despite being in a position to make the playoffs.

The Jazz are in a postseason mix again but could acquire players this time as the team has a selection of expiring contracts, a low payroll and nine tradable first round picks.

That’s just more buzz from Windhorst and for both of these writers to talk about the same things means there’s likely a lot of smoke out there on this. And when there’s smoke....

The other point of interest is that the Jazz might be acquiring players. That could mean two things, the Jazz might actually be looking to improve or it’s smoke to hide what the Jazz want to happen.

I assume it’s a little of both, but it would not be a surprised to see the Jazz acquire someboday. Ryen Russillo mentioned on one of his podcasts the Ainge Rule, which boils down to cap space being overrated. The idea is that cap space does very little for you because you’re usually competing with multiple teams and you typically end up with nothing (Look at what happened this summer when the Jazz were close to getting Kristaps Porzingis). The other thing that Ainge talks about is that if you have a lot of cap space, you’re probably not very good and it might not matter at that point either. And so, Ainge is more into making trades or drafting stars. Knowing that, it’s likely that Utah will make moves this trade deadline and offseason, the question will be, what is the move?