BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics are dreaming big this summer, hoping to finally light off some fireworks and land a pair of star players.
It seems like Gordon Hayward (a free agent) and Paul George (via target) are their primary targets, but they’re going to have to clear some cap space in order to pull it off.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, Kelly Olynyk will likely be the first casualty of Boston’s quest for cap space. Olynyk was due to become a restricted free agent, but if the Celtics renounce his rights it’ll free up his $7.7 million cap hold on Boston’s books, giving them a lot more wiggle room this summer.
This should come as no surprise, as Olynyk was going to get paid a ridiculous amount of money from someone this summer and the Celtics were unlikely to match any restricted offer with their big offseason plans. And you won’t find too many Celtics fans shedding tears for the 26-year-old big man after an up-and-down stint in Boston after being drafted 13th overall back in 2013.
The seven-footer averaged nine points off of a career-best 51.2 percent shooting in 75 regular season games last season, and had the game of his career in Boston’s Game 7 victory over the Washington Wizards in the East Semis, pouring in 26 points off of 10-for-14 shooting off the bench in the C’s 115-105 win. He’s averaged 9.5 points per game over his four-year career, but just 4.7 rebounds, and his inconsistent play led to more frustrating evenings than exciting ones.
The Celtics will miss having a big man to stretch the floor, but their sights are set on much bigger and better things and they should be able to find Olynyk’s skillset somewhere else at a much cheaper rate.