Despite being tied for the league’s best record at 22-6, the Boston Celtics might be looking for some help and appear to have their eye on Kelly Olynyk.
“League sources say Boston is among the teams that is monitoring Utah’s Kelly Olynyk in advance of a potential trade pursuit,” wrote NBA insider Marc Stein.
Olynyk is currently enjoying a solid season playing for the Utah Jazz, averaging 7.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game on 54.9 percent shooting from the field and 41.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
The former first-round pick spent the first four seasons of his NBA career with the Celtics, so he likely wouldn’t need too much time adjusting if he were traded.
The Celtics might want Olynyk as a backup in case anything serious happens to star big man Kristaps Porzingis, who has a lengthy injury history and missed eight games so far this season.
Just 11 days ago, Stein offered some interesting information about the 32-year-old Olynyk as a possible trade candidate.
“Olynyk, meanwhile, is in on course to become a free agent in July as he plays out the final season of a three-year, $37 million deal and is regarded in some league circles as the most likely of the Utah vets to move on at some point during the next six-plus weeks,” the insider wrote.
Utah is near the bottom of the Western Conference at the moment with a 12-18 record, good for 12th in the conference. Olynyk would likely welcome the chance to join one of the top contenders in the league in Boston.
A strong finish to the season for Olynyk would likely go a long way toward helping him secure a nice payday in the offseason. He’s surely looking to secure the first NBA title of his career before that, however.
The Celtics are set to take on the Los Angeles Lakers in a Christmas Day showdown that will tip off at 5 p.m. EST. They still have three games left in 2023 after that.
The league’s trade deadline isn’t until Feb. 8, so the Celtics — and other teams that might be interested in Olynyk — still have plenty of time to make a deal happen.