Aussies in NBA: Aron Baynes Looking Forward To Bigger Role with Pistons
With the beginning of the NBA Summer League, more Aussies have come into the NBA spotlight. The likes of Ryan Broekhoff, Cameron Bairstow and Brock Motum are all involved in the annual audition/warm up to the new regular season, and some, if not all, of them could very well find themselves on an NBA team's roster to begin the 2015-2016 season, adding to the growing Aussie contingent which features Matthew Dellavedova and Andrew Bogut, both important pieces of the teams which contested the latest NBA Finals.
Another Aussie who's been making waves in the NBA and has been rewarded for his hard work with a three-year, $20 million contract from the Detroit Pistons is big man Aron Baynes, who has spent the last three years with the San Antonio Spurs, working his way into more minutes season by season. Believe The Hype recently got the chance to have a quick word with the up and coming center.
Baynes spoke about signing with Detroit, and how the opportunity to bring some championship-caliber experience and leadership to a young rebuilding squad appealed to him.
"It's a great opportunity for me in Detroit. I'll have a bigger role; that opportunity is there for me. It's a young team; it's a very young core group that they have right now. I definitely learned a lot playing in a system under [Gregg Popovich]. I will take what I've learned there and try to help Detroit become better. That's what I'm really looking forward to; going in there and being a part of this process and helping the team as much as I can."
He also had kind words for future teammate and face of the Pistons, Andre Drummond.
"He's a very talented player, he's great offensively [and] defensively, he's a presence. It's definitely a bright future for him, and I'm looking forward to getting over there and working with him."
Interestingly, it seems that in a perfect world, Baynes would have liked to stay with the San Antonio Spurs.
"The unfortunate side of professional basketball is the business side of things, so you have to try to and do what's best for your family. [The Spurs] had things that they wanted to go and try and do as a team, and unfortunately they weren't able to bring back a fair few of us this year. I definitely enjoyed my time in San Antonio, I have fond memories of that."
Pistons head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy spoke at the introductory press conference for Baynes and Reggie Bullock, saying that Baynes "was at the top of our list going in right from the beginning".
"He brings a physicality to us which will help, but also great skill. It’s not easy in this league to find big guys who are physical and skilled offensively and I think people have seen just a little bit of it with San Antonio, but we’ve seen even more of it in his international play.
Aron's a guy who can score in the post around the basket, and can pass the ball, and can shoot the ball on the perimeter, and he’s very comfortable putting the ball on the floor, making plays from the elbow, so I think he provides us with an offensive versatility in addition to his physicality."
It's plain to see that the Pistons highly value their new big man, and Baynes looks like he'll certainly have every opportunity to leave a bigger imprint on the NBA.
[audio src="http://traffic.libsyn.com/believethehype/s04e91_-_NBA_Catching_up_with_the_Big_Banger_Aron_Baynes.mp3"] Listen to the full interview to find out more about the Big Banger's plans to help cultivate youth basketball in Australia with his camps, as well as his plans on playing and being involved with the Boomers.
Thanks once again to the guys at Believe The Hype for the great interview!