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Exit Interview: Kelly Olynyk calls right shoulder surgery "inevitable"

Kelly Olynyk's pump-fakes on the court aren't an issue, but off the court they are.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Some fans are in love with Kelly Olynyk's potential as a 7-footer that can shoot flames from downtown. Others get annoyed with his tentativeness as a scorer. Anytime Olynyk pump-fakes, fans on Twitter moan and groan about it.

I get it. But personally, I love the pump-and-go. It's lethal because 7-footers aren't supposed to shoot over 40 percent from three and have the passing vision of a guard. Olynyk puts so much stress on the defense, and that's why the Celtics had a +5.2 Net Rating with him on the floor, their best of primary rotation players.

When Olynyk is force-fed the ball, he tends to produce at a high level. That's one reason why he has a bright future in the NBA, though it remains to be seen if he'll reach his potential in Boston or somewhere else.

But in order to produce you need to be available. And Olynyk ended his season with a right shoulder injury that knocked him out of his rhythm and made him relatively useless in the playoffs.

Olynyk told CSN's A. Sherrod Blakely that it's "inevitable" he'll need to have surgery, and it's expected to be a five-month recovery.

The season ended three weeks ago, so what's taking so long if surgery is necessary?

Olynyk still weighing options - CSN
"If I rest it, I would definitely partake in the Olympic (qualifying tournament)," Olynyk told CSN. "That would be the reason to not get surgery at this point. If you rest it, it'll get better but never solve the problem. That's what we're looking at."

Olynyk added: "I'm still looking at it. Probably make a decision sooner than later because the recovery is so long if you do get it. It's hard to give up, Olympics, but when you do look at it, if you get hurt it's even worse to give up the next season. It's a tough decision."

So Olynyk is holding off on having the surgery because he's considering playing through it for the Canadian national in early July. They need to win in order to qualify for Rio, and he's an integral member of the team, so his reasons for waiting do make sense.

While Olynyk has the right to do what he wants, the risk in waiting seems to outweigh the reward.

What's the plan if he does play for the national team? Would he hold off on having surgery until after the 2017 season? What happens if he got hurt during the year? Or would he have surgery in mid-July and return to the Celtics lineup in December or January?

Olynyk will be a restricted free agent in 2017, and the salary cap is expected to rise to over $100 million. Olynyk is going to get bleeping paid, especially if he has a career year. While representing his country seems like an appealing option, it's probably not worth risking a critical season of his career.

This type of tentative decision-making on the court is what infuriates Celtics fans. But right now his decisions off the court are having the same impact.

If Kelly Olynyk does get the surgery over with, he'll be right back on track to return for the regular season to build on his promising 2015-16 campaign.

Contact me on Facebook and Twitter @KevinOConnorNBA. My 2016 NBA Draft Guide can be ordered by clicking here.

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