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Discussion in 'Mark Blount's Port Cellar: Celtics Forum' started by Eddie Jurak, Feb 16, 2017.
Thats your opinion. My opinion is he is not good at basketball.
I do like Olynyk, but wonder why he hasn't put some muscle on to minimize getting pushed around. I know his build would never show him ripped, but it would help in his rebounding. He often puts himself in the right positions but then just gets ran over or shoved off his spot (with no call usually).
And with enough prompting you may even support your opinion someday.
Do you need more proof then 4 years of game film? Hes soft slow and shy.
Glad you and the KO fanboys arent running the Cs. Hed already be maxed out.
Your analysis is that he is soft, slow, and shy?
Surely you have other supporting evidence that he is not good at basketball. Your position is fine but you really need to support that position with evidence other than the baseball equivalents' of "gritty, he doesn't care, and he looks like a ML player." That's intellectually lazy and worthless.
How is he soft, slow, and shy? Are they measurement metrics like rebounds, PER, number of fouls, etc. which would support anything you are saying? Your engagement with others here is great but others are asking you to dig deeper, not post from your phone when you have 10 seconds.
I'm asking the same of you. Thanks.
Feel free to read and respond to what I've posted in this thread any time. Happy to have a real conversation about Kelly Olynyk if you decide you're up for it.
Edit: Here, I'll make it easier. Here's how I replied to you way back when:
Not sure how to read that and come away with the idea that I'm an Olynyk fanboy who wants to give him a max deal.
I think categorizing him as soft, slow, and shy is not terribly innacurate. For a "big", he gets pushed around often (soft). For a guy who plays like a stretch 4, he lacks quickness and explosiveness like other stretch 4's (slow). He too often does not look to shoot when he has an opening (shy).
However, one can be all those things, and still be a decent basketball player. Someone mentioned it up thread, but he kind of "is what he is". Which is a capable backup big who can stretch the floor, play solid, if not visually exciting, defense, and at times can flash much more than that.
Nobody has even hinted at giving him the max. In fact, most here are not even comfortable paying him more than the 3 mill he makes this year, so your hyperbole only weakens your already hot-take-like analysis of him.
I think Olynyk is a guy where you really have to trust the numbers more than what you see when you watch him.
I will speak for myself here but I think other people have said similar things: He looks and acts like he doesn't belong on an NBA court at times and this is really bothersome as a fan. This is both superficial (hair, build, etc) but also about how he can get absolutely embarrassed at times: when he gets burned it looks really bad and is offensive to our sensibilities as fans. I think this has happened several times at the end of games against larger teams like Toronto where he just can't hang with bangers under the basket. And as a guy who spends time at the gym this is visually offensive to me, to see a guy in the NBA who looks like he could spend time getting stronger and tougher but has not done so, at least to the degree where he isn't made to look like a pussy down the stretch in important games.
But with Olynyk you really need to temper these feelings with the numbers which have been laid out here and other places many times in the past: Boston is absolutely a better team with Olynyk and in this system he is way above replacement level. That said, I don't think he should be brought back unless he takes a significant discount. I imagine him take more money and going to a team that will not utilize him properly and will fade away ala Evan Turner.
I keep returning to the idea that Kelly just is a slow footed SF and not a "big" at all. It's not his fault that he is 7' tall when his game just isn't valuable around the paint. Compare his 9' standing reach to Gobert's 9'9" or even Brook Lopez at 9'5" and then add the lack of vertical explosion to validate what our eyes see.
He moves the ball well and has a decent shot, and can even score a bit under the basket. However, he does none of this as well as you want from a wing player. His biggest challenge is he doesn't really have a position to effectively defend. Maybe a team loaded with bigs could use him as a change of pace, but I'm struggling to identify the right team make up for him to shine.
I think the biggest thing messing with MY perception of him is that because of his height he is often used to attempt draw out a big from the paint. He doesn't have a traditional big game, but that is what I see opposite him on the court.
The dude sometimes just looks like bambi on skates on the court. I do find sometimes that if I squint when he has the ball its all better.
FWIW: I do like KO and want him to remain on the team - but not for stupid money of course.
Here are the Celts net rating with every Olynyk rotation with more than 40 minutes together in the past season (no playoffs):
Celtics were only +2.3 overall, but Olynyk was part of some bad rotations that got a (relatively) high amount of run.
On the other hand, RPM likes him, rating him a .47 which is good for 28th best center in the league.
Some of this does make me wonder if Stevens could be using him better, or if there is maybe a better complimentary player for a bench rotation.
Olynyk is a good defender. People think all centers should be jumping out of the gym blocking shots. Per 82games, C's defense is 2.4 points per 100 poss. better with him on the floor.
I'm not someone who dismisses numbers out of hand, but this kind of begs the question...better than what specifically? These type of macro/holistic approaches to determining defensive effectiveness make it very challenging to determine what the individual player is doing. For example, is he better than having Amir play? Is this against a 'replacement center'? Are there players made more effective (like Smart or Crowder) for idiosyncratic reasons that aren't really reflective of KO's skills? I know the RPM numbers claim to take all this into account but I remain skeptical. The +/- numbers above sure don't make him look very good, and that is on a team with the best record in the east and an overall net positive +/-. Despite any claims to the contrary I'm not a Kelly-hater and I don't expect him to block a ton of shots, but if your 'big' can't compete in with the trees for a contested rebound on either end, and is really bringing value only on the perimeter, then replace him with an actual wing and get a center who can do that job.
Edit - To be clear, I mean replace him in FA as he was a fine $3m option who wasn't terrible, but simply never improved in pts, rebounds or minutes during his four years of regular play.
All of these reasons are precisely why Olynyk is a second unit guy. That isn't a bad thing as he is solid in this role and susceptible to matchup problems at times......which is the case with most second unit guys.
The problem with these "career second unit players" is that you don't need to pay Evan Turner or Allen Crabbe $70m deals for similar production. Teams agreeing to those deals, and the one Olynyk could fetch, are simply lazy when you can find rotational bigs on the cheap or older guys out of the draft at a small fraction of the cost. We did it with Powe, Big Baby, Rasheed, and even Shaq (who was a force when he was heathy with us). Many others are doing it right now.
Yea, those sorts of stats are very incomplete. But it jives with what I see from watching the games. Kelly is certainly not athletic, but he is a very good positional defender and usually can hold his man one on one in the post, save for against the few bigs left in the league who can bullyball down low, e.g. Greg Monroe or Z-Bo.
That's true, KO does have a strong base and holds his ground against the other teams bigs down low. He seems unable to translate that positional defense into boxing out though, but maybe his man just gets the rebounds over him anyway. As HRB said, so long as his minutes and compensation are aligned with the second unit then you take the good with the bad.
Most of the complaints I've seen (at least here) aren't the typical bemoaning of 'ah, we coulda had that guy!', they're pointed at the thought process of taking KO over Giannis during that period of time in the organizational life cycle. You're abolsutely correct that for the position they were picking and for the scouting reports, KO has been about as good as could be expected. But at the time, DA probably should have been looking to take a HR swing there, not looking to secure a rotational bench guy. Giannis brought risk but he also brought a much higher ceiling and considering where the team was, I think it's fair to question the decision. There was really no reasonable expectation that the Celtics would be in he position they are in now, that a rotational big would be useful on a contender by the time his contract ran out.
Its easy to say Giannis was a higher cieling player in hindsight. But a 7 footer who can shoot 3s extremely well is pretty damn rare. Ok, he turned out to be a slightly above average outside shooter, but I disagree with the premise
that KO was obviously a low cieling pick.
I dunno. It seems pretty obvious even then KO was a limited player. Athleticism matters.
To be clear.....
The definition of a high ceiling player is one with exceptional physical attributes such as height, length, and athleticism who doesn't't yet possess advanced learned basketball skills. That was Giannis (and my guy at that spot Gobert) to a tee.
The definition of a low player ceiling is one who already possesses strong ball skills but lacks the exceptional height, length, and athleticism for him to grow into.
I guess the issue is that its a term used by different people in different ways. I think of 'cieling' as 'how good this player could be'.
But why call it 'cieling' when you could just say 'athleticism'?
I don't mean to come across as holier than thou and people can use terms in another context however in this case they would simply be incorrect.
You are correct in that "ceiling" is used as well a ceiling for how good a player can be. Think of it in terms of learned skills. Olynyk can't ever learn to have Giannis or Gobert's length or athleticism.....those aren't learned skills. Giannis and Gobert, or flops with similar physical skills, can learn over time what Olynyk already possesses.
In short, Olynyk's ceiling was low due to him not having the length and athleticism to learn. Giannis and Gobert's was high as they had the chance to obtain both the length and athleticism, which they already possessed, AND the learned skills over time.
Back to this? We had this debate here, about these exact two players.
Reasonable people can and do disagree with you on this. Last time we had this debate multiple people linked to many scouts using those terms in ways inconsistent with your definitions.
I think it's far from clear that this is the case.
Quibbling about the definition of usage of specific terms is kind of beside the point. It was easy to see that if Giannis reached his full potential, he would be a much better player than Olynyk would, whose full potential was/is a slightly better version of what he is today. At that point in time, the Celtics didn't need safe picks (high floor). They needed a franchise player. Whether Giannis had a higher flameout rate is certainly an argument against taking him there, but for a team at that stage of rebuilding they didn't need safe picks, they needed a home run.
If they don't strike gold with IT4, they don't sign Horford, they don't become a one seed or a conference contender and KO would be closing out his rookie deal having given given nothing tangible to the franchise, likely leaving to get overpaid somewhere else or exposing his weaknesses more with increased playing time.
Debate about it is much more about philosophy than it is results. KO was never going to be a starter on a contender. Giannis may have had a higher risk of turning into nothing, but at the time, the franchise was likely better off taking that risk (regardless of how the individual players turned out). That's what a large contingent of people regretting it take issue with, not that Giannis turned into a superstar. Every team misses on guys.
In some bizarro world there is a scout who didn't view Giannis/Gobert as high upside and Olynyk as low upside? I'd like to see those links as I don't ever recall seeing them.
Upside has never not been tied to physical ability.
We've had this debate too. I believe that DA's philosophy was to make sure he acquired assets because the only way a team can get better if it adds to its assets. Having a draft pick flame out would not have helped the rebuilding process.
I'm sure it was a tough decision for DA. He and Austin had scouted Giannis in person and apparently DA said that he had the most upside and compared him to Pippen. http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2013/04/06/greek-freak-prospect-draws-danny-ainge-to-greece/
Sure, it would have been great to draft Giannis. It would have been great to get Shawn Kemp in 1989 (actually, it would have been great to draft anyone but Michael Smith in 1989 but that's another story). And there's that article that describes in another parallel earth, the C's ended up with Tim Duncan, Tracy McGrady, and Paul Pierce, and Rick Pitino has a statute outside the Garden.
No, I'm talking specifically about how scouts use the words upside.
Of course Giannis' athleticism gives him a higher ceiling than Olynyk. But lack of athleticism doesn't automatically make somebody "low ceiling."
The definitition of the phrase is actually the exact point HRB was making. I'm not arguing that Giannis didn't have a higher ceiling than Olynyk, I'm arguing with the notion that Olynyk can't by definition be a high ceiling player and there's only one way scouts use that phrase.
Different things impact a player's ceiling. I don't think it's tied purely to athleticism, and that's the only point I'm making.
Players with elite skills can overcome a lack of athleticism.
I've worked with scouts, I'm friends with many coaches and players at multiple levels. You can choose to believe me in how the term is defined or not. I'm only trying to help but I do understand that I can't save the world. Upside has always been directly tied to unlearned skills and a players physicals. Kawhi Leonard could barely dribble a basketball when he was at SD State and scored almost exclusively in the paint. He was considered to have such high upside because he was freakishly long and athletic so if he was able to improve learned skills he could become an elite player.
If a player already has elite skills how much better can he become when he is limited on how much he can improve height, length and athleticism? Upside is defined as the difference from where a player is today to where he can eventually be. It doesn't mean the player can or can't be "better."
At the NBA level they are far and few between. Steph Curry is a great example of someone who wasn't considered to have a high upside due to his physical limitations......he has used elite skills to overcome it.
If anyone is interested in seeing the original version of this argument, instead of the JJ Abrams re-boot, here's a link: http://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/2016-nba-draft.11810/page-5#post-1678399
To bring it back to Olynyk, the Celtics are looking at $70.5 mil in contracts for next season, and the cap is projected to be $101 mil. However this does not include the salaries of incoming draft picks as well as Zizic and Yabusele, who are supposedly going to be on the team next season. That doesn't leave the C's with a lot of room if they want to chase the top tier FA's.
I love Kelly and think he is underrated, but I am not sure he is worth the salary he will likely earn on the salary in terms of opportunity cost to the C's. Its not easy finding 7 footers who can shoot threes, but it is also not easy finding players like Gordon Hayward.
Don't the Celtics basically have to renounce Olynyk's rights in order to create room for a max offer? I think you simply have to take a run at guys like Hayward even if losing Olynyk is the downside.
I believe you are correct. Hopefully they have back channels to gauge someone like Hayward's interest heading into FA. I have to think he stays simply because of the money though.
It's a fair point. I think Jokic is an example of this though. His upside was limited due to his lack of explosion and terrible foot speed, and average athleticism/leaping ability. Granted, Jokic has crazy length too but he wasn't considering a high ceiling player. His elite passing, rebounding and BBIQ make up for his average athleticism. Thing with Olynyk, he's probably below average athleticism and has below average length. That's hard to overcome.
I'm not sure how to word it correctly but I think a guy like Jokic didn't have elite passing skills when he was drafted but had the potential to develop into an elite passer. He's not really a good comp with Olynyk anyway though. He was 20 when he was drafted and did have the length. Olynyk was already a 22 year old polished college product.
Really, it doesn't even matter if I agree with your terminology though. KO had limited upside regardless of what terminology you want to use and even his scouting reports reflect that.
They can make the QO to Kelly @ $4.3M to keep his Bird rights, without damaging their cap space too badly.
I'd also think that as soon as they get a verbal commit from Hayward, they would be looking to move AB ($8.8M on a 1 year deal) to a contender like Houston that could immediately plug him into their guard rotation. If the C's got back someone like Chinanu Onuaku and a lotto-protected 1st rounder, that would put the team in great shape short-term (IT-Hayward-Crowder-Horford) and long-term (hopefully Fultz/Ball+Smart+Jaylen+Zizic+Yabu+picks).
Sign me up for these scenarios. This is why I'm glad he held onto the picks.
A wise old coach once told me to look at what you get not at want you don't, and at times mentally change a measurable. If KO was a 6-8 guy hanging in and banging some 3s we would think he was adequate. That is what he is, a decent bench 4. Pj Tucker is another other extreme of this phenomena.
I've watched youtube highlights of Jokic's passing more times than I can count. It's mesmerizing.
Check out the one at 0:33. Then the one at 0:59. Then 2:30. Then 3:15.
Kelly became a man. He played wonderfully. Id KILL to see that agression all the time from him.
Game five was the best I have seen him play. He was much better on D than usual. A few times on a switch he ended up with a perimeter guys and was able to keep guys in front of him. I agree he was more fired up and a lot more physical than normal. He does open things up when he is out there, because his check stays home on him. There are a few times he simply spaced more to the corner, or wing and his guy took a step to stay close, and then IT drove. Maybe my imginiation but my eyes say Crowder is not getting the same respect for his 3pt shot. from the bulls.
Crowder is 6-26 from three in this series.
Has he played himself into being re-signed? After the first 2 games this series, I'm pretty sure everyone thought KO was a goner. I'm guessing the rest of the playoffs will help determine that as well.
Or he's playing himself into not being signed -- Brooklyn or some other team with tons of cap room might conclude that since they can't attract any established stars, they will overpay for a guy they think can break out with a bigger role, like Dallas did with Harrison Barnes?
For those mystified by the seemingly tireless KO criticism, this was a kind of object lesson for me in why. Its not that ManBearBun is really terrible, but that when he gets going (whatever that means and whatever the trigger is) he really moves the needle at both ends and even in transition as well. Kelly can suffer by comparison...to Kelly. The Cs clearly do love him, witness the Durant recruiting trip, but its hard to see how this doesn't help raise the price beyond what they can afford unless they miss out on Hayward and just resign everyone.