Feb 16, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Kelly Olynyk (13) during the first half against the San Francisco Dons at War Memorial Gym. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Today, the Boston Celtics were reported as being in talks with the Brooklyn Nets for a blockbuster deal that would send Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn in exchange for a large quantity of aging role players with expiring contracts. The NBA Draft, as I’m sure many of you are well aware of, also occurred today. There was no shortage of ridiculous trade buzz during the draft, and this year was no exception.
Boston’s trade leaves a potential wide open slot at both center and small forward for the Celtics. In my previous article to do with Olynyk’s draft prospects, I listed the Thunder as the primary spot I liked Olynyk to land. He was one off, going to the Mavericks at No. 13. However, this is where the draft trades all coincide; Olynyk was immediately reported as being shipped to the Celtics in a pick swap of sorts between the two teams (Mavericks and Celtics, in case this gets to be too much).
So, where does that leave us Gonzaga (and now Boston fans)? The Celtics end up with Kelly Olynyk, a young, skilled, center to work in tandem with Rajon Rondo (assuming he isn’t traded as well, given the Celtics current rebuilding trend). KG is leaving, and that means Olynyk could see some serious time at center, perhaps even starting for them!
This is a great situation for Olynyk; he’s in an all-time great organization with a history of winning games and championships. I can’t say I was totally correct with this pick, the Celtics were my second choice (past the Thunder) at No. 16, although I can’t say I predicted this draft day trade swap scenario unfolding.
Olynyk will develop. Heck, he could be really good. He needs to work on his post game (crafty as it already is) because he isn’t going to be an above-the-rim player. He’s athletic, he’s smart, he’s skilled, and he knows how to work hard to improve himself, as evidenced by the transformation he underwent during his red shirt season at Gonzaga. Time will tell what happens to Kelly Olynyk in the NBA, but one thing we know for sure- he’s going to a great team, with a great history of centers, with the chance to be a great one himself.
That, in this ever-shaky process of drafting, is something we can be sure about.