OCTOBER 29TH, 9:21pm: Boston has officially exercised the options for all three players, the team announced.
OCTOBER 22ND, 6:00pm: The Celtics will exercise their team options to keep Tyler Zeller, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk on their rookie scale contracts through 2015/16, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com reports (Twitter link). These moves have been widely expected, as Blakely suggests. Zeller’s $2,616,975 salary for that season is the most expensive of the group. Sullinger is set to make $2,269,260, and Olynyk will collect $2,165,160, as our Rookie Scale Team Option Tracker shows.
Picking up these options increases Boston’s guaranteed salary commitments to approximately $33.5MM for the 2015/16 campaign, with Jeff Green also holding a player option for $9.2MM, which he is likely to exercise. Also not factored into that cap figure is Rajon Rondo, who becomes a free agent next summer, and it’s unclear as to whether the Celtics will attempt to re-sign him or deal him prior to the trade deadline. Rondo currently makes approximately $12.9MM, and will most likely seek an increase on that amount in his next contract.
Zeller was selected with the 17th overall pick by Dallas back in 2012 before being dealt to the Cavaliers. During his two years in Cleveland, Zeller averaged 6.9 PPG and 4.9 RPG while logging 21 minutes per night. He was acquired by Boston on July 10th of this year in a three-way deal involving the Celtics, Cavs, and Nets.
The 7’0″ Olynyk was chosen with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2013 draft, also by Dallas, but his draft rights were traded that night to the Celtics for Lucas Nogueira and two second-rounders. During his rookie campaign last season, Olynyk appeared in 70 contests, including nine starts, averaging 8.7 PPG and 5.2 RPG. After a strong training camp Olynyk is expected to be a major offensive contributor on a rebuilding Celtics squad.
Sullinger was drafted by Boston with the 21st overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. The 6’9″ big man out of Ohio State has been held back by injuries in his young career, but appears to be healthy entering his third year in league. His career numbers are 10.5 PPG and 7.3 RPG, and his career slash line is .440/.268/.771.