BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics made a move on Thursday night, just not the one people were hoping for.
According to multiple reports, Boston extended a qualifying offer to Kelly Olynyk on Thursday, making the seven-footer a restricted free agent.
You may be asking yourself one question: Why?
The Celtics are thinking big this offseason, hoping to land a pair of star players, and Olynyk probably isn’t part of those plans after four up-and-down seasons in Boston. The Celtics can now match any offer he receives in restricted free agency, but just because they gave him a qualifying offer doesn’t mean he’ll be hoisting up threes in Green next season.
The Celtics can rescind their offer to Olynyk at any time should they need to clear up cap space (say, if they want to sign Gordon Hayward to a max contract), much like they did last year with Jared Sullinger. Even if no qualified offer was made and Olynyk was an unrestricted free agent, he would still carry a $7.7 million cap hold against the Celtics. Boston could also swing a potential sign-and-trade with Olynyk if they’ll like to try to collect a few extra assets.
So don’t worry. A qualifying offer doesn’t mean Olynyk will be back and making a ridiculous amount of money with the Celtics next season.