Detroit Pistons: Is Kelly Olynyk the odd man out next season?

Kelly Olynyk #13 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Kelly Olynyk #13 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons, Kelly Olynyk
Detroit Pistons forward Kelly Olynyk Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Marvin Bagley III scored 27 points last night for the Detroit Pistons and Kelly Olynyk scored two, which is symbolic of the problem the Pistons face this offseason.

Olynyk’s season has been a disappointment by any measure, as he’s had to miss a fair chunk of the season with injury and has been largely ineffective when he has played, logging some of the worst numbers of his career.

Olynyk was last offseason’s big free-agent addition and is making just over $12 million this season and next with a partially guaranteed contract in the 2023-24 season.

It’s been a hard luck year for Olynyk, who has never really found a rhythm or defined role off the bench for the Detroit Pistons.

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These factors might lead to him being the odd man out next season, as it is possible the Pistons will add multiple bigs that will force a decision on Kelly Olynyk.

Detroit Pistons: Kelly Olynyk by the numbers

Kelly Olynyk was brought in to be a floor-spreading big off the bench, a guy who would benefit both Cade Cunningham and Killian Hayes in the pick-and-roll and provide some veteran leadership.

But Olynyk hasn’t really been that guy. He is shooting just 34 percent from 3-point range on 3.1 attempts per game, both near his career lows. His effective field goal percentage of 51 percent is the lowest since his rookie season.

His pick and roll prowess has yet to show itself, as he has the lowest frequency among the Pistons’ bigs and shoots the lowest percentage out of the pick and roll.

Consider this: Olynyk shoots just 40 percent overall out of pick and roll plays, while Marvin Bagley III shoots 68 percent on a higher frequency. Pick and roll plays involving Olynyk lead to points just 39 percent of the time, lowest on the team.

He hasn’t been effective at the things the Detroit Pistons signed him to do, whether that is because of injury or fit is hard to say, but Olynyk is having one of his worst seasons as a stretch big.

Olynyk can play both power forward and center but has logged most of his minutes as the backup five this season.

But what about moving forward, is there going to be a place for him in the rotation?