Kelly Olynyk: Gonzaga Center to Make NBA Draft Decision by Friday

Hayden Deitrick@hdeitrickFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2013

Kelly Olynyk, breakout Gonzaga star and All-American award recipient, will reportedly make his draft decision by Friday according to CFJC-TV’s Gareth Madoc-Jones.

CFJC-TV is a local broadcasting network out of Olynyk’s hometown of Kamloops, B.C. and has had direct contact with Ken Olynyk, the Gonzaga standout's father.

On Tuesday, Madoc-Jones tweeted the following:

It seems that fathers have played a larger role than normal in the reporting of draft decisions recently. 

A couple of examples that come to mind are the fathers of Russ Smith and Kyle Anderson, who have recently spoken out for their sons.

Ken Olynyk, who has been involved in his son’s career from his decision to redshirt to his decision to grow out his now famous hair, seems as reputable a source as any.

Chad Ford has previously reported that “multiple sources believe [Olynyk will] be in the 2013 draft.”

However, recent reports from The Slipper Still Fits, a Gonzaga blog that has been close to the Olynyk decision process since season’s end, indicate that his decision “will be closer than many think."

Olynyk, who averaged 17.5 PPG and 7.2 RPG as a junior, will likely be selected in the first round, which will guarantee him a roster spot and a contract worth a dollar amount in the millions.  Not bad for a player who averaged just 5.8 PPG as a sophomore.

In his most recent mock draft, Ford has Olynyk going to the Boston Celtics with the 16th pick, saying “he could be a nice complement, in the long run, with Jared Sullinger."

Gonzaga’s hopes of a successful 2013-14 season, however, do not hinge on Olynyk’s decision.

Behind Olynyk on the depth chart this past season were redshirt junior Sam Dower and freshman Przemek Karnowski who combined 12.3 points and 5.3 points.

Along with incoming freshman Ryan Edwards, a 7’ prospect out of Montana, the Bulldogs will attempt to match Olynyk’s production by committee.

Obviously, Gonzaga would have more success next season should it return their All-American and WCC Player of the Year.

However, to say that Gonzaga’s quality will plummet, as some have postulated, is ridiculous.  There is a bevy of talent on this roster, such as Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr., and a lot of exciting prospects entering the program such as Providence transfer Gerard Coleman and Louisville transfer Angel Nunez.

Gonzaga fans will continue to hold their breath until Friday in anticipation of Olynyk’s decision.

The general consensus is that it is understandable if Olynyk leaves, but if he does return, he will have a rock star reputation that matches his rock star locks.

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