Kelly Olynyk opting into $13.6M player option could impact Heat’s offseason
The basketball world is pensively waiting as the NBA free agency flood gates are set to open on Monday. This is exactly where the Miami Heat currently sit as they anticipate a huge decision from their third-year big man Kelly Olynyk.
Per Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press (via Heat Nation), Olynyk has until Thursday afternoon to decide on whether or not he does end up staying with the defending Eastern Conference champions. Reynold also noted that the Canadian is expected to opt-in.
Kelly Olynyk's option deadline is 5pm Thursday, for Heat fans who may be wondering.
He is expected to opt-in, but technically has until Thursday to decide.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) November 15, 2020
Though the Canadian isn’t exactly the biggest piece in the Heat roster, Olynyk’s pending decision on his player option coming into the 2020-2021 season has huge implications for the team.
Olynyk is expected to get upward of $13 million on his fourth year in Miami if he does decides to stay, which should complicate things for the Heat. Adding swingman Andre Iguodala’s $15 million contract into the conversation, that’s already roughly $30 million the Heat are giving up.
Olynyk only started nine games for head coach Erik Spoelstra last season, including the playoffs and was a decent off-the-bench option for the Heat.
Olynyk’s decision to stay (or leave) will also affect the capability of the Heat to retain their starting center in Meyers Leonard, who enters the offseason as an unrestricted free agent.
Leonard, who started majority of the regular season for the Heat, showed signs of potential as a key member of their roster but was rather unused in the playoffs with Miami opting to go small and stick with Bam Adebayo at the five.
Obviously, it would be nice for the Heat to have both Leonard and Olynyk come back as frontcourt options for Spoelstra but with both of them due for a nice pay check, that might be close to impossible.