He may not have been back on the court for the Celtics in their road trip finale against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but center Kelly Olynyk did get some good news on Wednesday, as the 23-year-old was chosen to take part in All-Star weekend for the second straight year.
The Celtics’ sophomore was named to World Team for the NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge. Olynyk was picked for the team that includes fellow Canadian Andrew Wiggins, Utah’s Rudy Gobert and Dante Exum, and Chicago’s Nikola Mirotic.
Olynyk has been out since suffering an ankle injury against Portland on Jan. 22 and was not expected to return until after the All-Star break. Coach Brad Stevens isn’t sure whether Olynyk will end up taking part in the event, telling the media before Wednesday’s game that “there’s no way we’d want him to do it unless he’s 100 percent healthy,” while saying that “if he’s ready to play, that’s the trainer’s and Kelly’s call.”
As a rookie, Olynyk took part in the 2014 Rising Stars game, scoring nine points with two assists and three steals. Starting alongside teammate Jared Sullinger – as well as Anthony Davis, Victor Oladipo, and Michael Carter-Williams – Olynyk’s team picked by Chris Webber fell to Grant Hill’s squad, 142-136.
Olynyk was averaging 11.1 points with 5.4 rebounds per in 40 games with the Celtics this season before the injury. An MRI revealed an ankle sprain which is likely to keep Olynyk out of the lineup for at least a couple more weeks.