Kelly Olynyk was dealt rather unceremoniously from Miami to Houston at the deadline last year when the Heat took a swing on Victor Oladipo, but it turned out that Olynyk would go on to play the best basketball of anyone moved in that trade in the second half of the season. In Houston, Olynyk averaged 19.0 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game on 54.5/39.2/84.4 shooting over 27 games that undoubtedly raised some eyebrows and made him some money this summer.
In Miami, Olynyk was having a dreadful shooting season (31.7 percent from three) and was seen as expendable enough to take a flier on Oladipo, but in Houston he recouped some significant value, taking advantage of a situation where expectations were low and opportunity was high. The question for teams in free agency was to figure out how repeatable that performance in Houston was on a winner, but in a weak big man market, his ability to space the floor and his playoff experience figured to give him plenty of suitors.
In the end, Olynyk ended up inking a 3-year, $37 million with the Pistons, as relayed from his agents to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Free agent Kelly Olynyk has agreed to a three-year, $37M deal with the Detroit Pistons, his agent Jeff Schwartz of @excelbasketball tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 2, 2021
This makes the second straight year the Pistons have splurged on bigs in free agency, having had to trade Mason Plumlee to Charlotte this offseason by attaching a high second round pick after that partnership didn’t work out. Olynyk seems to be a better fit given his ability to space the floor, but it’s certainly a significant investment for a Pistons team that seems to want to quickly improve around No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham.