Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on Heat big-man reserve Kelly Olynyk:
When life was normal, less than a month ago, it seemed no Heat player faced a tougher offseason decision than Kelly Olynyk, who has the option of bypassing $13.6 million in the final year of his contract and instead entering free agency this summer.
Now, with pro sports facing unprecedented uncertainty in the coming months amid the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with the possibility of a lower NBA salary cap because of lost revenue, the choice could essentially be made for Olynyk and many others with 2020-21 player options: The security of opting in suddenly seems pretty appealing.
Even before coronavirus affected everything, Olynyk faced a landscape in which only six other teams, besides Miami, would have cap space above $10 million this offseason, per capologist Jeff Siegel: Atlanta at $49.1 million, New York at $44.3 million, Detroit at $31.9 million, Charlotte at $25.2 million, Memphis at $16 million and Phoenix at $13.9 million.
The big takeaway here goes way beyond Olynyk. League-wide, it makes sense, as of a few weeks ago, to assume that lots of players with contract options who may have tested free agent waters during the next offseason to play it safer and opt for short-term security.