NBA rumors: Raptors waive Aron Baynes

More on Aron Baynes Free Agency

Bobby Marks: Toronto makes it official on the Aron Baynes waiver. The Baynes $7.35M contract was set to become guaranteed on Thursday. $9.3M below the tax with 4 roster spots open The $7M Chris Boucher contract becomes guaranteed on Sunday.
Baynes and the Toronto Raptors agreed to a two-year, $14.3 million deal, per The Athletic. The deal includes a team option on the season year of the contract. Baynes gave serious consideration to joining the Golden State Warriors before agreeing to terms with the Raptors, a league source told HoopsHype.
Shams Charania: Toronto picks up one of the top big men on the market in Aron Baynes. Second season is a team option, sources said. Marc Gasol heads to Los Angeles on an agreement with the Lakers, where his preference has been and where his brother Pau is an icon.
Chris Grenham: On The Jump, Ramona Shelburne labels the Celtics as a possible landing spot for Aron Baynes. "Bobby (Marks), I don't know if you've heard this, but Boston obviously needs some more depth at center right now, having done the Enes Kanter trade."
According to league sources, several playoff teams are hoping to lure him to their franchise. They see the value in having someone like Baynes to come in and just accept whatever role is thrown at him. The Suns also have plenty of interest in bringing him back, according to league sources. Whether that’s a starting position or as a key backup, Baynes could command the mid-level exception or not far from it. The taxpayer MLE should be somewhere in that $6 million to $6.5 million range.
You are a free agent. Everything has been so truncated for the offseason, how does that change anything for you? Obviously things have to be sped up in terms of the process, but how do you approach that? How does your representation approach that? How do you approach that whirlwind? Aron Baynes: “It’s like you said — whirlwind. It’s going to be helter-skelter. It’s gonna be about two weeks from the draft until training camp. It’s going to be a unique situation and hopefully it’s going to be a good situation for all the players involved. Hopefully guys are able to go out there, find the right situation, and be put in the right situation. For myself, that’s something my team has been able to do for me. Always find a good situation for me to go to. I’ve enjoyed every single step along my career.
Aron Baynes: “Between us and whatever comes our way, we can find the right situation. Until then, I’m just going to enjoy here in Phoenix, being here with the family, and working out every single day with the guys here that I’ve built a solid relationship with. I enjoy going to battle with these guys. Until free agency opens, I’m just going to continue in my day-to-day routine and let the agent and everyone else involved do their thing. If you’re going to focus on it too much, you’re going to go crazy. Especially knowing how quickly everything’s probably going to happen this year.”
"Everything's so fluid right now," Baynes said of his free agency. "That's why you've got to lean on people you trust. For me, it's my agent, and I know that's the business side of basketball. I've been through it too many times to tie anything emotional to it, as much as you want to. You do have these connections throughout basketball and throughout the teams you've played for and where you've gone and also the outlook for your family. Everything weighs in to it.
"At the end of the day, it's a business decision, and we aren't even sure how that business is panning out right now, so hopefully it's for the best. It's what I'll be leaning on the agent for. Whatever we do, we'll try to make the best decision for myself, for my family and everyone who's helped me get to this point."
Aron Baynes sounds like a guy that wants to come back next season. The Australian chatted with CLNS’ very own Adam Kaufman on this week’s Celtics Beat. “I love Boston. Boston’s been great to me. My family is comfortable here” said the Celtics big man. “I have to have a chat with Danny and Brad in the next couple of weeks. Want to see what their thoughts are as well. If everything lines up I’d still love to come back.” “My heart is still in this…I want to add to the Celtics legacy,” he concluded.
The Boston Celtics have re-signed center Aron Baynes, the team announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Baynes, 31, started in 67 of his 81 games played during his first season with the Celtics in 2017-18, averaging 6.0 points (47.1% FG, 75.6% FT) and 5.4 rebounds in 18.3 minutes. He anchored the Celtics league-leading defense, which allowed just 97.6 points per 100 possessions with him on the court (3rd best among players who played in half of their team’s games).
Aron Baynes: Staying where I wanted to be!! Last year added fuel to the 🔥 bleed green banner 18 ☘️☘️☘️
Q: You’ve said you would like to see Aron Baynes and Marcus Smart return. If they leave, what are the most irreplaceable qualities those guys brought to the team? Brad STEVENS: We want them back for a number of reasons. Their energy is contagious, and it’s contagious every day. I tell the story all the time about (how) Aron Baynes races people in warmups. And he just brings an infectiousness that I can’t describe. And I think, like, my thoughts of this team are him and Marcus running down the court flying as everybody’s supposed to be doing high knees and warming up. Marcus has been like that for the last four years in everything that he’s done. So I think it’s their infectiousness. And I think with that comes a real reliability that is consistently shown on both ends of the court and certainly their prep. But on the court they do a lot of things that lead to winning — some that show up in a box score and many others that don’t.
But it wasn't just any season for Baynes. It was the first in which the fifth-year pro played an integral part for one of the better teams in the NBA. And it's a role that multiple league sources believe will continue, as they expect the Celtics to sign the veteran big man to a multiyear deal. Baynes representing the Celtics at the awards show is another sign of the connection he made with the franchise in just one season.
From an individual basis, Baynes has grown more in Boston than he has with any other franchise -- San Antonio included. Yes, he won a title with the Spurs in 2014, but Baynes’ role on that team was significantly different, and far less impactful, than what he did in Boston. And that is in part why, according to multiple league sources, Baynes is expected to return to Boston next season. Following the player’s exit interviews, Baynes made no secret about wanting to be back. And the Celtics’ brass has been clear about their intentions of bringing him back in the fold.
The Celtics should make Baynes an offer with the lure of competing for another championship — he won a ring with the 2014 San Antonio Spurs — and hope he takes a one-year deal at a discount with that promise. That’s unlikely but it’s worth a shot, especially since Baynes said he thoroughly enjoyed himself this season.
The Celtics have three unrestricted free agents in Shane Larkin, Greg Monroe and Aron Baynes. Larkin likely will procure a multiyear offer from another club as a backup point guard, substantially more than the $1.5 million he earned this season. Monroe likely is gone. He was such a defensive liability and a poor finisher at the rim that Stevens couldn’t play him extensively during the playoffs.
The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed free agent center Aron Baynes. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. “We are thrilled to have Aron aboard,” said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “He’s a great teammate, a hard worker and provides us some needed strength and toughness on the interior.”
Adam Himmelsbach: Just seeing this but yeah but can confirm, as @Shams Charania stated, the Cs have agreed to sign free agent big man Aron Baynes, per source.
Van Gundy said that Baynes worked out at the Pistons practice facility on Tuesday and the two spoke about the situation. He didn’t close the door on possibly getting the reserve center back, including using Baynes early Bird rights to increase the offer to around $11.3 million. “There are a lot of scenarios where we can bring Aron back so that’s not a done deal, but we knew the opt-out was coming,” Van Gundy said. “Right now on our salary structure, if you look at where our roster is, we can’t pay him that right now and be under the tax. “Things change as the summer goes on, but there are scenarios where he could be back. But right now, some things would have to happen.”
An NBA executive noted that in a market filled with bigs who are either restricted free agents or locked in to their respective teams, Baynes will likely be the best unrestricted free agent big in the league. While that’s a bonus, the other side is the fact that because most teams already have a centre locked in, the market is small for big men. “I’d say $US7-10 million, depending on several things,” the executive said of Baynes’ value.
Even with Aron Baynes expected to exercise an option in his contract after this season and become a restricted free agent, the Pistons passed on offers to trade the 6-foot-10 center. Why? "You couldn't get enough of a return to make up for what we think we lose in him," Pistons president-coach Stan Van Gundy said. "And even thought we know it's about that-much-of-a-percentage we could have him back, we didn't want to give up that percentage."
Should Baynes opt out, and it's expected he does, the most the Pistons could offer him would be $11.375 million per season, an 175 percent increase on his current salary. It's believed he will be able to sign for more than that next season, especially with the NBA salary cap set to increase again for the 2017-18 season. "We have a lot of respect for him," Van Gundy said. "He's a guy that we obviously play really well with. And he's a big part of what we're doing now. We didn't want to give him up."
Citing unnamed sources, Basketball Insiders published a story Wednesday afternoon saying the Pistons were gauging interest in backup centers Baynes and Boban Marjanovic, adding that Baynes will decline his player option for next season. Baynes told the Free Press after Wednesday night’s 118-98 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans that no decision has been made. He responded with a laugh when asked about the report. “I don’t know about that,” Baynes said. “I’m just focused on the season right now. That’s all I’m doing, just playing basketball. I have an agent. That’s the unfortunate side of basketball, but I let him do his thing. I’m just out there trying to do mine.”
You haven’t made a decision? “I definitely haven’t thought about anything yet,” he said. “It’s not even All-Star break. There’s a long way left in this season. I’m just trying to go out there and make the most of it.”
However, another player in a contract season may not return to the Pistons. “Aron [Baynes] is a really good player and I said this after the last game, we’re going to be in a difficult situation by the [CBA] rules of trying to re-sign him next summer,” Van Gundy said. “I’m supposed to downplay him, not play him up and tell you, ‘You know, that guy’s a pretty solid backup,’ but the bottom line is he’s a starting-caliber NBA center who we’re very lucky to have as a backup.”
Everything the Pistons have come to love about Baynes is what will compel competitors to steal him away next July. It’s all due to an NBA collective bargaining agreement arcana. Baynes’ side negotiated an opt-out clause following the 2016-17 season when he signed as a free agent with the Pistons in July 2015. Holding Baynes’ rights for two seasons gives the Pistons partial Bird rights – but not full Bird rights. And that difference limits them to offering Baynes – on the slam-dunk assumption that he’ll exercise his contract option – 175 percent of his 2016-17 salary, reportedly $6.5 million, or an offer no greater than $11.375 million for next year.
Aaron McMann: Certaines are few and far between in sports, particularly basketball, but barring injury or some unforeseen circumstance that I can't come up with at this time, Aron Baynes will opt out of his contract over the summer. He would be a fool not to. Baynes signed a three-year, $20 million contract with the Pistons two summers ago, good money for a backup center. But that was before the salary cap explosion last summer, with another increase coming next, and backup big men were pulling in contracts for $15-18 million a season. In fact, Pistons president-coach Stan Van Gundy said pregame Wednesday in New York Baynes could command as much as $18 million. If that's the case, the Pistons simply cannot afford him.
Baynes will go back to his normal position in the post when he comes to training camp this month. It could be his last season with the Pistons. He’s under contract to make $6.5 million this year and has an early termination option on his contract for 2017-18. Because the Pistons might not have enough money to keep the veteran center if he were to exercise his option and become a free agent, the team went out and signed 7-foot-3 Boban Marjanovic as insurance.
“We’re limited in what we can do with Aron next year,” Van Gundy said. “Two things happen: No.1, by rule, if Aron does opt out, we’re limited in how much we can offer him, by rule, because he leaves in two years. There’s only a certain percentage of his salary we’re allowed to offer him, and it comes in under $12 million a year. If you look at where the prices on big guys went this year on guys like Bismack Biyombo and Ian Mahinmi, that’s far beyond that $12 million. There could be a possible scenario where we wouldn’t be able to compete to keep him.
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