Even in rebuild, Rockets want veterans like Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley

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Ben DuBose
·2 min read
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In two games with Houston, newly acquired center Kelly Olynyk is averaging 20.5 points (60% FG) and 6.5 rebounds in 29.5 minutes per game as the fill-in starter for Christian Wood. In one of those outings, the Rockets won big at Minnesota, and the other was Monday’s surprisingly competitive loss to Memphis, a potential playoff team.

Even though the Rockets (13-33) clearly aren’t a playoff team themselves, first-year general manager Rafael Stone doesn’t believe his team is headed for a lengthy rebuild. He likes the young core in place, and having veterans such as Olynyk and Avery Bradley — acquired from Miami in last week’s Victor Oladipo trade — can help to supplement that core.

When asked about Olynyk and Bradley at Monday’s post-trade deadline press conference, Stone quickly noted that the Rockets have a team option on Bradley’s contract to perhaps keep him for next season, along with Bird rights to potentially sign Olynyk to a new contract.

Among Stone’s other comments from Monday:

One of the advantages of the rebuild construct we’re doing… I do think that there’s a place for veterans on your team, not just this year, but going forward. Stabilizing influences, helping your younger players develop in the right way, in a quicker way. I think having a good mix of old and young is actually attractive. It doesn’t mean that these guys will be the perfect fit.

I actually am very optimistic about both. Like I said, they’re both guys we really like, and have liked for some time. But you don’t know people until you work with them, and so I’m looking forward to getting to know them and working with them, and having them fit into this group. And then we’ll make decisions at the end of that time.

“We’re trying to find good fits,” Stone concluded.

Stone’s press conference can be viewed in its entirety below.

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