The Detroit Pistons will go into next season with a roster that is probably not quite ready to compete for the playoffs.
If everything goes perfectly, it’s possible that a team led by a young backcourt in Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey could surprise some people, especially after adding solid veteran role players in Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel.
But they are probably still a year away, which could lead to one more losing season, especially if the Pistons start to sell off some of their veteran parts at the trade deadline.
Kelly Olynyk is one of the players Troy Weaver could consider trading, as he will be on the final guaranteed year of his contract and has the skillset that a lot of contending teams might covet as a big man who can stretch the floor.
Jalen Duren isn’t likely to start the season playing heavy minutes, but by the trade deadline he could be ready to assume a larger role, in which case the Detroit Pistons might want to clear some of the clutter from their depth chart.
Of course, if the Pistons are playing well and Olynyk is making big contributions off the bench, then they could just hold onto him, as he does offer them shooting, which is something Detroit lacks.
But if things start to go south and they want to see more of the young players, there is one team that makes a lot of sense for Kelly Olynyk.
Detroit Pistons: Trading Kelly Olynyk to the Miami Heat
One team that immediately stands out is the Miami Heat, who are the type of contending team that might look to add pieces at the deadline for another run at a title.
Olynyk played 3+ seasons with the Heat already, so they are familiar with his work and know how he would fit with the guys they already have.
The Heat don’t have any depth at the power forward position, so are potentially going to be running out lineups with Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo and three wings most of the time.
They could use another guy with size and Olynyk would be a nice fit with Bam Adebayo, as both guys can switch on the post and perimeter and knock down jumpers off the pick-and-roll.
The Heat don’t have much backup for Adebayo either, so Olynyk could be very valuable to them as a guy who can play both spots.
I don’t think there is any question that Olynyk is a fit for the Heat, but what kind of value will he have as a 31-year-old who only played 40 games last season? The answer of course is that it depends on Olynyk’s health and production at the deadline next season, as well as Miami’s position in the standings.
If they feel like they are just some roster depth away from making a title run, then Miami will be looking for that final piece or two, but if they aren’t, wouldn’t likely have much interest in Olynyk.
The fact that his deal is not fully guaranteed the following season would be appealing to any contending team that will be up against the luxury tax and Miami will be one of those teams.
Would Olynyk be worth a young player? A couple of second-round picks? We will see, but Miami will definitely be one of the potential suitors if the Pistons end up putting Olynyk on the market.