KAMLOOPS — It's been an offseason of change for Kelly Olynyk.
First, learning the Boston Celtics, the team with which he spent his first four NBA seasons, were going to move on without him. Then testing the free-agent market before eventually landing a sweet deal with the Miami Heat.
But now with the a four-year, $50-million contract signed, Olynyk can focus on his basketball camp this week in Kamloops and look forward to the beaches of Miami.
"I think it's a great opportunity for me," said Olynyk. "They had a great end of the year, the last half of the year. Top record in the NBA. They signed pretty much everybody back and they've got a core that's really good. Hassan [Whiteside] is a huge body down there, can play the five [position] and guard guys. They've got great guards who are dynamic in scoring."
Gone are the days of 'Big 3' with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Miami has struggled since, missing the playoffs. But Olynyk is looking forward to helping turn the franchise back around.
"The way they play and the way coach Spo [head coach Erik Spoelstra] does his system, I think I can bring a little bit of shooting and skill on the front line for them. I just think it's going to be a good fit."
Miami has Hassan Whiteside, who was last year's leading rebounder. In 2015-16, Whiteside led the NBA in shot blocks. And with the news that Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland, the Heat could bring him on board as one of his preferred destinations.
"That would be an unbelieveable opportunity to play with a guy like him," said Olynyk, who played against Irving in last year's Eastern Conference Final. "I'm not sure what's going to happen there. They're a pretty good team with him, so it'll be tough to move him out, I would think. But if the opportunity arises, it would be awesome."
While Olynyk's focus is now on Miami, he has fond memories of his time in Boston, despite how it all ended. At the top is his 26-point performance in Game 7 against Washington to propel the Celtics into the Eastern Conference Final.
"It was probably the best game I had as a Celtic," noted Olynyk. "The best atmosphere I'd seen as a Celtic. To hear 20,000 fans at the Garden chanting your name, and solely your name, is pretty unbelieveable. Kind of surreal to think about and dream about, and it happen."
Olynyk added "I got a lot of messages after that game."
As for what Olynyk has done since signing the $50-million deal? Not a whole lot. He hasn't spent any of the money on himself. In fact, the only item he's bought is a brand new set of golf clubs for his dad Ken.
He says he also plans to rock his well-used Toyota Tundra in Miami.
"I wouldn't call my frugal. I would say I'm more 'money savvy' than frugal," responded Olynyk to questions about his lack of spending. "But we'll see what happens. I have a few things in my mind brewing. I do have the Toyota Tundra still. It's just a big interior that fits me well. It's tough to go into one of these expensive sports cars, all cramped up in there."
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