Celtics Reportedly Interested In Acquiring Former Fan Favorite

Boston reportedly is on the hunt for a backup center


February 2

The Celtics are thin at the center position outside of Robert Williams III and Al Horford, and president of basketball operations Brad Stevens reportedly is inquiring about a familiar face.

Boston and the Heat are interested in a reunion with Kelly Olynyk, according to Heavy Sports’ Steve Bulpett. The Utah Jazz big man started his career with the Celtics before playing four seasons with Miami.

The Celtics reportedly are trying to figure out what it would take to acquire the Canadian center. The Jazz are ninth in the Western Conference, as of Thursday, and have plenty of first-round picks from trading away Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.

Utah acquired Olynyk this past offseason in a reunion with former Celtics executive Danny Ainge. He is averaging 11.7 points per game on 40.6% 3-point shooting, along with 4.9 rebounds. But Boston reportedly is not willing to trade away a key asset to acquire the 6-foot-11 big man.

“Olynyk is a guy they have interest in, but I doubt if that will happen,” a source told Heavy. “Both teams that have had Olynyk have interest in getting him back, but I don’t think that that’ll happen, just like I don?t think (a move for San Antonio Spurs’ Jakob) Poeltl will happen, either.”

The Celtics let the 31-year-old walk in free agency after he played his first four seasons in Boston. He was a contributor for the Stevens-led teams and played with Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown.

But Olynyk is not worth giving up key assets for, especially if he’s going to be a fourth big man behind Williams, Horford and Grant Williams.

Boston still has its traded-player exceptions it can use as the NBA trade deadline approaches next Thursday.

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