Kelly Olynyk picked the right NBA Draft to be a skilled seven-foot big man with a shooting touch and ballhandling ability outside of the post. There isn't really a clear-cut, can't-miss prospect in this draft, which makes being considered a big awkward guy all the less relevant for Olynyk.
With the buzz pretty low surrounding this year's prospects, no one is predicting legend anyway. Olynyk deserves as much respect as anyone.
Not to be confused with a future star, the British Columbia native who had a seven-inch growth spurt in high school is the classic case of watching a player “take what the defense gives him."
His hair flops around like Steve Nash's used to in his prime.
There isn't a Dream Shake, Sky Hook, or patented bank shot off the block like Timmy D. This guy is just out there getting it.
DraftExpress.com has Olynyk going to the Atlanta Hawks at the No. 17 pick. Some playoff team is going to be glad to have a seven-footer coming off the bench who’s not about living on the perimeter, but can space the floor as a set-shooter all the same.
With the right coaching and direction, Olynyk has a high ceiling as a role player. Think on it: If Joel Anthony can play a key role on championship contenders, what exactly is holding this guy back?
Olynyk had a breakout year with Gonzaga after playing behind Lakers center Robert Sacre for two seasons. Olynyk admittedly didn’t expect to be here this soon. But with what the Zags did this past season — becoming a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament for the first time ever, albeit before going down in the first weekend of the dance to eventual Final Four participant Wichita State — Olynyk spent most of the year in a limelight he had not anticipated.
From Sporting News:
“You always want to have confidence and belief in yourself as a player, and your skills and talent,” Olynyk said. “But honestly, I didn’t know it would happen this year so fast. I was hoping that I would get the chance if not this season then after next season.”
Olynyk showed positive signs with double-figure scoring against Washington State and Memphis in his first two seasons. He was once rumored to transfer after a redshirt year, but then he posted a team-leading 17.8 points, and 1.1 blocked shots per game, as well as 7.3 rebounds a contest. Olynyk put up 33 and 10 on conference rival Santa Clara, and his parting shot was 26 points and nine rebounds in that disappointing L to Wichita State.
Next season, there’s no telling how stacked the draft will be. But in a pool filled with role players, these squads are just trying to land on the right one. Playoff teams should be licking their chops.