Miami Heat Forward Nabs $1 Million Bonus for Weirdly Specific Stat

Getty Kelly Olynyk #9 of the Miami Heat in action against the Houston Rockets during a game at the Toyota Center on February 11, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

While the Miami Heat slowly claw their way out of the bottom of the Eastern Conference, Kelly Olynyk has more than a few incentives to stay healthy and keep playing at 100% intensity.

Aside from wanting the team to turn their 14-17 record around, the 29-year-old forward gets a serious bonus based on the number of minutes he plays. Per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Olynyk gets a sweet $1 million if he plays more than 1,493 minutes, which is nearly 25 hours of court performance time.

While that sounds oddly specific, Olynyk also has another, albeit more typical, bonus coming his way if the Heat make the playoffs. While Olynyk is on pace to play near 1,500 minutes this season, if Miami makes it to the postseason, he gets an additional $400,000.

Thus far during the 2020-2021 NBA season, the 6-foot-11 baller is averaging 10.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in 25 minutes of play per game. After a slow, the former first-round draft pick has put up some of his best numbers over the past five games.

On February 18, Olynyk scored a season-high 22 points during the Heat’s win over the Sacramento Kings. As of February 23, he’s played a total of 768 minutes.

Heat’s big man is also making the most of these minutes. Olynyk has emerged as one of the team’s best three-point shooters just behind Duncan Robinson.

“He does a lot for us on that side of the floor,” Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra said of Olynyk. “He spaces the floor, but he can also put points on the board. It is not just about spacing the floor. He allows us to play with a bigger front line with himself and Bam [Adebayo].”

Olynyk Opted In for the Final Year of His Contract With the Heat

GettyKelly Olynyk #9 of the Miami Heat shoots over Aron Baynes #46 of the Toronto Raptors during a game at Amalie Arena on January 22, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.

After the Toronto native signed a four-year $50 million contract with the Heat in 2017, Olynyk exercised his $13.6 million player option to remain in Miami before the start of the 2020-2021 NBA season.

Olynyk started his career playing with the Celtics. After four seasons in Boston, he took his talents to South Beach.

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Olynyk Has Been Struggling This Season Amid NBA’s Strict COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols

Kelly Olynyk

GettyKelly Olynyk #9 of the Miami Heat reacts during the second half against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Two of the 2020 NBA Finals.

After the shortest off-season in NBA history, Olynyk admitted that playing amid NBA’s coronavirus healthy and safety protocols have been difficult, especially while playing on the road. “The 30 steps from the bus to the arena is like the highlight of your day now,” Olynyk said, as reported by the Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman.

Olynyk was one of the Heat’s most reliable starters while many of the team’s players remained out due to COVID-19 contact tracing. Coronavirus has given Olynyk, who bypassed free agency to exercise his $12.6 million player option for the 2020-2021 season with the Heat, the chance to step into spotlight. Prior to this season, Olynyk only started 103 of 500 games throughout his career, Canadian Sports Scene reported.

Olynyk went from starting 20.6% of his team’s game to starting 67% of their matchups.

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