Free agent big man Kelly Olynyk agreed to a four year $50 million contract with the Miami Heat on Thursday. The fourth year is reportedly a player option. This is the latest domino in the Gordon Hayward signing, as the Boston Celtics’ $128 million signing of Hayward led to Boston having to release Olynyk due to cap room issues. Meanwhile, the Heat, who had been targeting Hayward, had to resort to their second best option in Olynyk once Hayward agreed to the Celtics’ offer.
Celtics guard Jaylen Brown was complimentary of his now former teammate Olynyk, saying, “I thought he probably should have gotten a little bit more money but you know how that goes.” He also expressed his understanding that Olynyk’s ability meant he should be a starter. “He came off the bench for us and he played really well all year on a good team so I’m happy for Kelly. Miami has a good team and I wish him nothing but the best,” Brown said. Olynyk averaged 9.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in 20 minutes per game for the Celtics last season. He had spent four seasons with the club since being drafted in the first round in the 2013 NBA Draft by Boston. He was known as an easygoing personality in the locker room.
The Miami Heat are now going into the 2017 season with an interesting and relatively young roster. Olynyk is only 26 years old, and also has 25-year-old Dion Waiters and 19-year-old Bam Adebayo by his side. Veteran James Johnson, who his entering his age 30 season, re-signed with the Heat as well this offseason.
One small detail that’ll be need to ironed out is Olynyk’s history with Heat center Hassan Whiteside. They had a very public incident in 2015, when Whiteside elbowed Olynyk in the head. Reportedly, Whiteside later apologized for his actions.