Raptors Make Shrewd Move With Kelly Olynyk Extension

Kelly Olynyk, Raptors, NBA
Mar 1, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Kelly Olynyk (41) goes to pass the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the first half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors left some people scratching their heads with the move they decided to make ahead of the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline. It was clear they were selling this season with the trades they agreed to with the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers, centered around OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam.

They picked up solid long-term assets in those swaps, landing Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett from the Knicks and Bruce Brown and three first-round picks from the Pacers. But, they made what can be categorized as a buyer’s move right ahead of the deadline.

In a deal with the Utah Jazz, Toronto acquired Kelly Olynyk and Ochai Agbaji in exchange for Kira Lewis Jr., Otto Porter Jr., and a 2024 first-round pick. Seeing a rebuilding team trade away a first-round pick, especially for a player at a position that wasn’t a major need, was a surprise.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Kelly Olynyk & Toronto Raptors Updates

The Raptors did the same thing ahead of the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline, acquiring Jakob Poeltl from the San Antonio Spurs. Poeltl re-signed with Toronto in the offseason, agreeing to a four-year, $78 million contract.

Figuring out where Olynyk fits into their long-term plans is tough, but the Raptors did make a shrewd move involving him this week. According to Olynyk’s agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, via NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Toronto and the veteran center agreed to a two-year, $26.25 million extension.

Olynyk has proven to be a useful frontcourt piece and provides insurance behind Poeltl and Scottie Barnes in the frontcourt. The Raptors are certainly fortunate to have Olynyk around as Barnes and Poeltl both suffered injuries in recent games.

The biggest reason this was a good move for Toronto as it actually cleans up their salary cap situation moving forward. By signing the extension now, Olynyk’s cap hold this offseason has shrunk.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Kelly Olynyk & Toronto Raptors Updates

Without an extension, he would have had a cap hold of $18.3 million taking up space on the team’s salary. With the extension, that number drops to $12.8 million, essentially opening up a potential $5.5 million in space for the franchise this offseason.

With so many moving parts impacting the Raptors’ salary cap situation this offseason, signing an extension with Olynyk clears things up at least a little bit. Their frontcourt situation is pretty much set in stone for at least the next two seasons, as Olynyk’s deal runs through 2026.

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