Southwest Notes: Olynyk, Terry, Hayes, Grizzlies

Since Kelly Olynyk arrived in Houston, the Rockets have won just four of 26 games, but the veteran big man has played some of the best basketball of his career during that stretch, averaging 18.9 points and 8.6 rebounds on .561/.382/.850 shooting in 24 games (31.7 MPG). That hasn’t been lost on him, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle details.

“I’ve had a good opportunity here to play my game,” Olynyk said. “I’ve come in to help these young guys. Their style of offense is great for me. … It definitely factors in (to be) somewhere you can be yourself, play basketball the way you’ve always played. It’s been great here. I’ve loved it, the opportunities, the players, the coaches. I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s obviously shown on the court.”

Olynyk will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, and Rockets head coach Stephen Silas believes the 30-year-old would be a fit in Houston going forward, per Feigen. While Olynyk sounds interested in that possibility, he acknowledged that he’ll have to consider a number of factors once he reaches the open market.

“Obviously, money is a factor at some point,” Olynyk said. “But fit, how you’re fitting, style of play. Obviously, you want to win, but you also want to help somebody win. You don’t want to go and kind of get lost in a shuffle. You want to go and contribute and help a team grow and win and do something special. … Then, obviously, you’ve got to look at one year versus two or three or four. There’s a bunch of factors that weigh into it. You try to make the best decision that you can.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Mavericks rookie guard Tyrell Terry, who has been out since the All-Star break for personal reasons, said on Instagram this week that he plans to be “back and better than before,” as Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News tweets. While it’s not clear when Terry will be available again, his Instagram post included the message, “I will see y’all soon!”
  • Second-year Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes has made some positive strides this season, according to Christian Clark of, who says Hayes’ next step for continued growth is to establish more consistency. The big man will make $5.35MM in 2021/22 and New Orleans will have to decide later this year whether to pick up his $6.8MM option for 2022/23.
  • Given how well the Grizzlies have performed without some key players for long stretches of the season, anything less than a playoff spot should be considered a disappointment at this point, says Mark Giannotto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. The way the Grizzlies close the season will also determine how they move forward in the offseason, Giannotto opines.
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