With a player option keeping Kelly Olynyk from becoming a free agent this offseason, choices to choose from have now become a key priority for the 29-year-old.
Olynyk, who played for the Boston Celtics before signing with the Miami Heat in July 2017, will have until October to decide on whether or not to accept his 2020-21 $12.2 million player option.
“I haven’t really thought about it as of yet,” Olynyk said Friday on a video conference with reporters. “Obviously, we’ll see what happens down in Orlando. You still have that option. Options are always good. Anytime you have an option in anything in life, you have multiple choices and you can make the decision that best fits yourself.”
In such a complicated free agency, which according to experts, will feature all players with an option on their contract to opt-in, Olynyk’s indecisiveness isn’t only because of the money, it includes playing time.
“I don’t think it’s any one thing that influences a decision,” Olynyk said. “I think it’s all of those accumulated, that allows you to make the decision that you see best fit. Obviously, money plays a role. But obviously opportunity plays a role. Obviously quality of life plays a huge role, whether it’s where you’re playing, or who you’re playing with, or for, beside, location, proximity.
“There’s so many things that go into it. I think you can’t peg it down to just one thing. That’s really what it’s all about, is having that option, and the pros and cons of whether you take it [the option year] or don’t take it, what’s best for you.”
Averaging 7.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game, Olynyk’s role in the rotation has shuffled varying from players that fit his speed and matchup on the floor this season. After 35 consecutive games with some time on the court, coach Erik Spoelstra pulled the plug on the 6-foot-11 power forward, filling his minutes on the rotation for James Johnson. However, since Meyers Leonard sustained an ankle injury that kept him out of the Heat’s last 16 games, Olynyk has had the chance to redeem himself. With Leonard out, the former Gonzaga Wildcat totaled six double-doubles, playing more than 10 minutes in 15 of Miami’s 16 games before the league’s hiatus.
Since the return from All-Star weekend, Olynyk has strived from beyond the arc, shooting 80.0 percent, topping every player in the NBA.
Still, with a healthy rotation heading to Disney World, Kelly Olynyk could find himself in the bottom pile of minutes played. One thing is for sure, another dynamic playoff run — 2017 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals — could help Olynyk collect a great paycheck in free agency.