It sounds like Aron Baynes will be back in green.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Baynes has exercised his option for the coming 2019/20 NBA season with the Boston Celtics. The player option, which is the final year of a two-year contract, is worth US$5.9 million according to Charania, and will delay his free agent status to 2020.
Baynes has been a critical part of the Celtics’ front court depth, and played well alongside All-Star big man Al Horford. The 6’10 centre was unfortunately hampered by injuries this season, which hampered his court availability.
“I think I played 51 games this season,” Baynes recalled. “There was a lot of bad luck, I can’t not get elbowed in the hand and break my hand… that alone. Unfortunately I came down on a few ankles.”
Baynes averaged 5.6 points, 4.7 rebounds over 16.1 minutes in the recent 2018/19 regular season. His return adds a layer of stability to the Celtics’ defence next season. According to Keith Smith, Baynes opted into his option with the implicit acknowledgement that he would not be part of a trade package the coming off-season.
Per a source: Aron Baynes opted in with the indication that he would not be part of a trade package this summer. There is an understanding that a trade could happen down the line, but Baynes opted in with the idea that he would be staying in Boston for at least the near-term.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) June 12, 2019
During a podcast last month, he had expressed that he would like to be back with the Celtics.
“I love Boston. Boston’s been great to me. My family is comfortable here,” Baynes shared. “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 same sentiment was expressed during his exit interview.
“Disappointment, unfulfilling is what I feel right now. I love Boston, I love the coaching staff that we have here. I love the players around here, it’s just, we didn’t play well on the court together… I love being able to step out on the floor there and I’m thankful every night I get to.”