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Aussies in NBA: Aron Baynes is ready to contribute as a Celtic
Aron Baynes attended his first media conference as a Celtic earlier today, after signing a one-year deal with Boston as a free agent.
Baynes spoke about his decision to sign with the Boston Celtics came from his perspective of the organisation.
"This was first and foremost, a basketball decision. From the top down --and [Celtics head coach] Brad [Stevens] has done a great job, and Danny [Ainge]'s done a great job getting the right people here-- hopefully I'm a piece that helps bring that puzzle together.
"I'm looking forward to it; just ready to get out there, guns blazing.
Baynes was later asked if he knew he had been on Celtics coach Brad Stevens' radar for a while.
"That's a good compliment. I appreciate that, but at the end of the day, I just try and focus on what I can do, when I go out there and play, try and stick with him, what I know will help the team and hopefully that will bring the right things to this team as well.
"Like [Celtics assistant GM] Mike [Zarren] was just saying, some more toughness, some rebounding and go from there. Hopefully start with that and not try and do things that I don't do.
"Just play within it and try and help these guys get better shots. There's some great guys on this team they can play offence and hopefully I just make that job a little bit easier for them as well."
Opportunity was a key factor for Baynes' decision to leave Detroit. There was no way he could supplant Andre Drummond on the team, he would always be working in a reserve role. In contrast, the Celtics have a roster that's suited towards small ball, and severely lack size. Baynes will have plenty of opportunity to show himself.
"Definitely," Baynes confirmed. "Being in the NBA, everyone always wants to play more. If you don't want to play more, you're not in the right spot.
"[I'm] excited for the opportunity, and hopefully I can go out there and earn some minutes. We'll see if what I bring is what Brad wants, so I'm hoping it is and looking forward to it."
"I'd say [the Detroit situation] was definitely a part of it.
"Like I said, you always want to be able to play more and I didn't see myself having much more of a bigger role than I had over the last couple of years so I'm always trying to expand my game in terms of what I can do on the floor. With opportunity comes that ability to do that."
Baynes was also asked about the barbeque situation in Boston, and if he had any chance to try some out, which set the big man chuckling.
"There we go! I was expecting it, I was waiting for the food questions.
"I haven't actually had any barbeque, but I've been trying a few lobster rolls around town but that's for the strength and conditioning guys to work on.
"I'm definitely getting out there and experiencing the food, that's one of the positives of coming to a bigger city and Boston, I know there's some great food options around here and I'm definitely looking forward to that.
"I wouldn't call myself a foodie but I enjoy food so there's definitely a lot of options around here."