Gonzaga center Kelly Olynyk swallowed his pride and did something not many people are willing to do. He was out of shape, underperforming and the Zags already had Robert Sacre, so Olynyk decided to redshirt after his sophomore year in order to preserve his two years of eligibility. Olynyk came back his junior year and averaged 17.8 points and 7.8 rebounds to help lead Gonzaga to their first number one ranking in the polls in school history.
Olynyk decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2013 NBA Draft as one of the top 15 prospects on the board. As a versatile big man, he could fill a void for the Philadelphia 76ers who pick at number 11.
Olynyk is a very skilled big man. At seven feet tall, he not only has post moves but he has shown the ability to step outside and knock down the three ball as well. The 76ers have a player like this in Spencer Hawes, but Olynyk might even be a better outside shooter and more skilled on the post, although Hawes is the far superior rebounder and rim protector on the defensive end.
Olynyk shot with high efficiency while in college, but I don’t see every aspect of his game translating to the pro level. He won’t be able to get his shot off as easy, and his quickness won’t stand out as much as it did when he was playing in the West Coast Conference while at Gonzaga.
At the next level, I see Olynyk as someone who could dominate the second unit but not be a starter. I see him coming off the bench and giving you 18-25 minutes a game of high energy and efficiency. His finesse game will translate better if he is playing with the second unit, and he could turn into a very successful center that will stretch the floor because of his extremely gifted outside shot.
If Spencer Hawes, a very similar player, is not part of the future plans of the 76ers, they should definitely consider taking a look at Olynyk.