Should the Boston Celtics try to use their $17.1 million traded player exception to bring back Kelly Olynyk?

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The Boston Celtics are on the hunt for talent to add to their team in their quest to make it back to the NBA Finals for a second consecutive season as they hope to use such a repeat performance to put them in a position to win the storied franchise’s 18th banner.

Armed with a $17.1 million traded player exception (TPE) generated from signing-and-trading veteran wing Evan Fournier to the New York Knicks that can absorb the salary of a player into it plus $100,000 without the need to send salary back in return, the team is looking for help in the frontcourt, on the wing, and handling the ball.

And among the many assessments of which player might be the best fit for such a resource, a familiar face ticks off a number of good reasons for the Celtics to consider bringing him back.

That familiar face is none other than big man Kelly Olynyk, who Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey thinks would be a solid option for Boston’s big TPE.

“Assuming they guarantee Al Horford’s $26.5 million salary for 2022-23, the Boston Celtics will return every key rotation player from the team that just made the NBA Finals,” suggests Bailey.

“And that group is already one of the deepest and most well-balanced in the league.”

If there are two spots they could shore up with a $17.2 million trade exception, it might be backup point guard or backup 5 (roles currently occupied by Payton Pritchard and Daniel Theis),” he adds.

“Kelly Olynyk is a good way to go for one of those boxes. He’s set to make $12.8 million next season (fits in that trade exception), is currently on a team that should be turning over more responsibility to the young core, and is one of the league’s more underrated playmaking bigs.”

“For his career, Olynyk has averaged 3.5 assists, 2.0 threes, and 2.0 offensive rebounds per 75 possessions” writes Bailey. “No one in league history matches or exceeds all three marks.”

The B/R author makes a compelling case for the fit, and the narrative around such a reunion would be near-cinematic for fans who recall the Kamloops native going off against the Washington Wizards in the playoffs not all that long ago.

It is unclear whether Detroit values his production as part of their core going forward, but with Marvin Bagley and Isaiah Stewart already under contract and a massive amount of cap space ahead of 2022 free agency, the Celtics would be wise to inquire about the former Boston big man’s availability.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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