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Heat’s offseason hinges on Kelly Olynyk’s big decision

Heat, Kelly Olynyk

After coming so close to winning the 2020 NBA Finals, the Miami Heat will be in search for another star to pair alongside Jimmy Butler going into the 2020-21 season. However, the franchise’s activity this offseason hinges on the decisions of current players such as Kelly Olynyk.

According to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Olynyk’s decision to opt in to his deal could very well grant the Heat the cap space they need for a co-star alongside Butler:

Should Olynyk opt in, his 2020-21 salary then would become available to be utilized in a trade. Paired with the $15 million the Heat owe Andre Iguodala for next season, those two salaries, when combined in a trade, would leave the Heat positioned to deal for a player earning as much as $35 million in 2020-21.

Olynyk will make $13.1 next season if he opts in on his current deal. Given his production on the court this season, his value is roughly around that dollar mark–possibly going as high as $15 million in the instance that he opts out. Winderman also noted that a trade exclusively centered on Olynyk and Andre Iguodala wouldn’t completely move the needle in trade talks for Miami.

While there are trade kickers that would factor in for both players, and while a trade partner, with the exception of one looking for a salary dump, assuredly would want additional assets, the combined Olynyk and Iguodala salaries would represent a starting point for a large-scale move.

At 29, Kelly Olynyk is entering an offseason in which he could earn possibly the most money of his career. The former Gonzaga University big man could also look to turn a blind eye to the Heat and pursue situations that only benefit him in the long run.