Aron Baynes took less money to join Celtics
Just a few years removed from the start of what many expected to be a lengthy rebuild, the Celtics have finally returned to their status as a destination team. So much so that their newest addition, center Aron Baynes, took a paycut to sign with the club.
Opting out of a noteworthy $6.5 million contract that would have become guaranteed had Baynes accepted his player option with the Pistons for next season, the 30-year-old Baynes instead tested free agency and took a one-year, $4.3 million deal with Boston.
This was not a case of the 6-foot-10 Baynes misjudging his market and having to settle for the third- or fourth-best offer, either, as he had noted free agent interest from the Clippers, Rockets, and even the same Pistons he originally walked away from, too.
Considered an underrated defensive presence, with strong positioning and allowing the 10th-lowest field goal percentage among players that defended multiple attempts at the rim last season, Baynes averaged 4.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in 15:30 of action in 75 games for the Pistons a year ago.
The numbers don’t exactly jump out to you, of course, but he also addresses an undeniable need for the Celtics after an Eastern Conference Finals in which they were simply and consisted decimated by the Cavaliers’ bigs in both offensive and defensive rebounding.
Baynes also brings some experience to what’s expected to be a relatively young frontcourt behind Al Horford — Kelly Olynyk and Amir Johnson have left town and both Ante Zizic and Guerschon Yabusele are expected to make the NBA team — and with a ring to show for it, too, as a bench presence for the 2014 NBA champion Spurs.
But before we praise Baynes for already bleeding green with paycuts, it should be said that Baynes’ bet in Boston is just as much about joining a contender for less as it is about maximizing his potential 2018 payday, as a guard-dominated free agent market likely ate up most of what Baynes was hoping to get when he first opted out of Detroit.
Still, the Celtics will take it, as both a boost to their club and a sign of where they are in their bid to become the go-to spot for free agents.
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Source: GreenStreet Blog