A mock trade proposal from Bleacher Report's Andy Bailey would see two Danny Ainge-era Boston Celtics, Kelly Olynyk and Marcus Smart, reunite on the Memphis Grizzlies; with Luke Kennard heading to Ainge's new team he's overseeing the front office of, the Utah Jazz. Less enamored with the Olynyk-Smart Celtics angle, Bailey was more concerned with the spacing angle for Morant in an Olynyk-Desmond Bane-Jaren Jackson Jr. lineup.
"The Memphis Grizzlies are one team that could be desperate enough for size to send a first-round pick for Olynyk's wide-ranging production," Bailey wrote.
"He's not the bruiser Steven Adams is, but he can approximate that better than Jaren Jackson Jr. has in Adams' injury-induced absence. More importantly, his presence in the roster would slide JJJ back over to his natural position at the 4 (Basketball Reference's position estimates have Jackson playing more minutes as a center than he ever has before). And just imagine Ja Morant, who's about to return from his 25-game suspension, working on a floor with Olynyk, Jackson, Desmond Bane and anyone else who's even a moderately dangerous shooter. Slashing lanes for Ja would be wide open."
Former Boston Celtics big Kelly Olynyk most likely Jazz player to be traded by deadline
According to Marc Stein (via Substack), Olynyk is the most likely member of the Jazz to be traded by the February 8 deadline.
""Olynyk, meanwhile, is on course to become a free agent in July as he plays out the final season of a three-year, $37 million deal and is regarded in some league circles as the most likely of the Utah vets to move on at some point during the next six-plus weeks," Stein wrote.
The Jazz are a winning streak away from being in the playoff mix, and have several veterans on the roster the team could build around. As it stands, few NBA contenders have the capital to be aggressive after previously taking big swings in the offseason. The Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Milwaukee Bucks all apply here.
Add Olynyk, and now teams like the Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns, and Golden State Warriors could propel themselves back to relevancy.
Olynyk has a market, and may just be one of the biggest names moved at the deadline. The great question becomes: does Ainge extract good value? Or does he get outgamed by another front office on the chessboard?