Kelly Olynyk ‘Excited’ to Play in Utah After ‘Out of Nowhere’ Trade

Kelly Olynyk will be playing with his fifth team in 10 seasons after Detroit traded him to Utah for Bojan Bogdanovic ahead of training camp.

Utah has been transparent in its desire to jumpstart a rebuild after trading All-Star cornerstones Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert over the summer. Through those trades, Utah acquired plenty of draft capital and some solid talent to build their talent around.

Olynyk averaged a career 10.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game on 36.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc. The veteran stretch-center will be focusing on fulfilling whatever role rookie Coach Will Hardy will assign him. When he was asked about Detroit trading him and Saban Lee to Utah, Olynyk said he was surprised and felt like the trade “came out of nowhere,” but he’s “excited to be a part of this out here.”

“I’m excited — I’m excited to be here, and I’m excited to be a part of this out here,” Olynyk said per the Salt Lake Tribune. “I love the people they have in the front office; I think they have a great direction and plan in place in where they want to get to and want to go and how to get there. I believe in them.”

Because of Utah’s rebuilding aspirations, Olynyk compared this process to what he went through in Boston with Jazz CEO Danny Ainge, as that Boston team built an Eastern Conference titan after trading Franchise legends Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn.

“It’s crazy because when I got drafted by Boston, we were almost in the exact same situation with Danny that they’re in here right now. You have some older guys with experience, you have some young guys, you got a bunch of draft picks coming in for the next few years, and you’re just trying to get better every single day, whatever that is,” he said. “And in Boston, we had a young first-year coach in Brad [Stevens], and now we have a first-time, young head coach in Will [Hardy]. And I think it’s going to be great for us — everybody’s going to be pulling the rope in the same direction. And that’s how you move things.”

Olynyk also told reporters that he had come to appreciate Hardy and his coaching staff in the days he’s been around the team. He believes that Hardy has a “basketball mind” and is willing to “let guys play free” and allows players to “be themselves on the court.”

“Kelly is a really versatile player. He’s been around the NBA for a while, so he has a lot of just sort of corporate knowledge of how to play in the NBA,” Hardy said. “But he’s a really smart, skilled basketball player. He can play in a couple of different positions on the floor, and just provides us with a lot of intelligence.”

Above all, Olynyk is looking forward to one thing playing with the Jazz

“It’s gonna be a lot of fun.”