When you stand at about 7 feet tall with hair down to your shoulders, it's hard not to be noticed. But if you've ever been to Portland, you know guys like that fit right in.
Kelly Olynyk was in Tualatin on Tuesday morning for a pre-draft workout at the Portland Trialblazers practice facility. If he had his choice, you have to think the former Zag would prefer to stay in the Northwest, just a hop, skip, and a jump from his native Kamloops in British Columbia. But, of course, in the NBA Draft you have no choice where you end up. Whoever drafts you, gets you. And a lot of NBA executives have to be drooling at the thought of a 7-footer who can shoot with a feathery touch, but still push his way around the paint when need be.
Portland is well-versed in tall dudes with shaggy hair. They drafted UCLA's Bill Walton #1 overall in 1974. Though his career was plagued by injuries, he managed to lead the Blazers to the franchise's first and only NBA Title, while also being named NBA Finals MVP in 1977. If Portland were to use its #10 overall pick on Olynyk, you would hope the comparisons would be to Walton, and not to the terribly disappointing Greg Oden.
Can Olynyk hold his own in the NBA? You would think so. He had a Rocky-esque training montage while he redshirted in 2011-12, and he turned into a beast of a center. Cue up "Eye of the Tiger" and put a log over Kelly's shoulder while climbing Whistler, and Olynyk would look more Shawn Kemp than Shaun Bradley. He's proven he can be a workout warrior and be a tough guy if he has to. And Portland might just be the perfect fit.
The NBA Draft is June 27th.