3 Reasons Olynyk Will Make it in the NBA - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

3 Reasons Olynyk Will Make it in the NBA

After making a stop in Spokane this weekend for Hoopfest, Kelly Olynyk was introduced Monday afternoon to the Boston media as the newest member of the Celtics.

Many questions loom over this franchise right now with Doc Rivers now with the Clippers and team icons Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce on their way to the Brooklyn Nets. Another question looming over this team is whether Olynyk can be more of a factor in the NBA than previous Zags like Adam Morrison, Austin Daye and Jeremy Pargo.

I believe the answer to that question is yes, and here are three reasons why:

The Boston Rebuild

The Celtics are on a clear rebuild right now after trading off (can't become final until July 10) Garnett and Pierce for a collection of expiring contracts and a trio of first-round draft picks. The expectations in Boston are no longer about competing for an NBA title, but are now about how quickly can they become competitive again?

With that said, Kelly is going in to a scenario where there's a high probability to succeed. He's going to get game experience because there will be opportunity to play. Right now, the Celtics only have one center under contract (Fab Melo), giving Olynyk an open door to compete for significant minutes at the four and five spot.

In addition, let's not be blinded by the fact that the Celtics hope to upgrade their team with some of the great players expected in the 2014 NBA Draft. Their organization's focus will be on ping-pong balls, rather than winning next year.

For Olynyk, that means there's no pressure to go out and win, or to save the franchise. His individual improvement will come with losses and missed shots, but he'll be a way better player by game 82 because of the experience he's getting. This upcoming year may as well be the equivalent of Kelly's redshirt season at Gonzaga.

A 7-Footer Who Can Hit The Three

He's no Dirk Nowitzki, but what team in the league wouldn't want a 7-footer who can hit from beyond the 3-point line? The question looming may be about how consistent he is, but we saw former lottery pick Channing Frye resurrect his career in Phoenix because of the 3-point shot. Olynyk will likely begin that journey from the get-go, making him a factor right away and giving his coach even more reason to keep him in game.

In today's NBA, there are very few true centers left, making a player like Kelly even more of a fit for any team. It helps being in the Eastern Conference as well, where the only true centers are New York's Tyson Chandler and Indiana's Roy Hibbert. For the most part, Kelly will be able to match up with opposing big men, while possessing the ability to stretch the floor with his shot.

Olynyk's Mental Game

This is probably his biggest strength and the skill that will make his career last in the NBA. For one, the guy will work. Olynyk proved during his redshirt season that he'll put the work in even without having the benefit of playing in games. He's not the most naturally talented player, but his skill set has been a byproduct of his hard work and dedication. He'll need that same drive to compete in the NBA.

The other factor is that he's not going in with an expectation that he's already earned what he's been given. In interviews, he simply says ‘whatever happens happens' and his focus is on working hard and making this team better.

Yes, it's the right words to say, but he's not coming in expecting to be the savior of the franchise. In the words of Rick Pitino, "Larry Bird isn't coming through that door." Olynyk is no Bird, but he is a hybrid player that has the mental toughness to continue to get better.

All and all, Olynyk is not the next All-Star or big names to take over the NBA, although I don't know if anyone in this year's draft even has that potential. However, the guy is going to give it all he has in Boston. He's a Matt Bonner type player with way more upside. Bonner has now been in the year for nine years, which isn't bad for a second-round pick in 2003.

Celtics fans will get their first view of Olynyk on Sunday at the NBA Summer League in Orlando, for hopefully his first of many games in an NBA uniform.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • SWX Blog RollMore>>

  • SWX Producer Remembers His Earliest Bloomsday's

    SWX Producer Remembers His Earliest Bloomsday's

    Thursday, May 1 2014 11:03 PM EDT2014-05-02 03:03:47 GMT
    As the 38th running of Bloomsday draws nearer, it brought back some memories from my childhood. Growing up in Issaquah, Washington, I didn’t make it to Spokane very often for the event, but every time I did, it was a special experience to share with family.>>
    As the 38th running of Bloomsday draws nearer, it brought back some memories from my childhood. Growing up in Issaquah, Washington, I didn’t make it to Spokane very often for the event, but every time I did, it was a special experience to share with family.>>
  • National Signing Day: Area Signing Class

    National Signing Day: Area Signing Class

    Wednesday, April 15 2015 2:56 PM EDT2015-04-15 18:56:46 GMT
    Below is a list of the area high school athletes who signed Letters of Intent today, National Signing Day, Feb. 5. The student athlete's will be listed by the high school they attend...>>
    Below is a list of the area high school athletes who signed Letters of Intent today, National Signing Day, Feb. 5. The student athlete's will be listed by the high school they attend...>>
  • What Does Russell Wilson's Divorce Mean for the Seahawks in 2014

    What Does Russell Wilson's Divorce Mean for the Seahawks in 2014

    Thursday, April 24 2014 2:02 AM EDT2014-04-24 06:02:28 GMT
    After the Seattle Seahawks announced a statement for their Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson that he was filing for divorce from his wife, only one question popped into my head. What is going to happen to Danger-Russ on the field? >>
    After the Seattle Seahawks announced a statement for their Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson that he was filing for divorce from his wife, only one question popped into my head. What is going to happen to Danger-Russ on the field? >>
  • Pro SportsProMore>>

  • United States prepares for Jamaica in Gold Cup final

    United States prepares for Jamaica in Gold Cup final

    Photo: USA Soccer MNTPhoto: USA Soccer MNT

    The United States has posted a 14-2-8 record against Jamaica, with their most recent victory coming in February of 2017 in an international friendly.

    >>

    The United States has posted a 14-2-8 record against Jamaica, with their most recent victory coming in February of 2017 in an international friendly.

    >>
  • Hydroplanes in the NBC Right Now parking lot!

    Hydroplanes in the NBC Right Now parking lot!

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 7:59 PM EDT2017-07-25 23:59:45 GMT
    Tuesday, July 25 2017 7:59 PM EDT2017-07-25 23:59:45 GMT
    Watch the clips above to check out our various guests we spoke with - as well as some hydroplanes - leading up to the Hapo Columbia Cup & Over The River Air Show! >>
    Watch the clips above to check out our various guests we spoke with - as well as some hydroplanes - leading up to the Hapo Columbia Cup & Over The River Air Show! >>
  • Spokane Starts 2nd Half With 13-1 Win At Hillsboro

    Spokane Starts 2nd Half With 13-1 Win At Hillsboro

    Clayton Middleton hit a two-run triple in the third inning, leading the Spokane Indians to a 13-1 win over the Hillsboro Hops on Monday.

    >>

    Clayton Middleton hit a two-run triple in the third inning, leading the Spokane Indians to a 13-1 win over the Hillsboro Hops on Monday.

    >>