Despite having a breakout season with the San Antonio Spurs, big man Aron Baynes will enter free agency this summer. The Spurs did not extend a qualifying offer to Baynes, even with the departure of starting center Tiago Splitter to the Atlanta Hawks. The Spurs have their sights set on signing forward LaMarcus Aldridge, and likely have other plans where big men depth is concerned.
Baynes averaged 16 minutes in 70 games last season while recording 6.6 points, 4.5 rebounds (1.6 offensive), and had five double-doubles, two 18-point performances. The 28 year old is a hardworking defensive center who has never been afraid to contest the shot, and also improved his offensive game considerably last season. While his shooting is limited to the mid-range, he is a sneaky baseline cutter who is also capable of finishing at the rim off pick and roll plays.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sLNdsSwmp0 The Big Banger was unfortunately less effective during the playoffs, and saw sporadic playing time during the 7-game series against the Los Angeles Clippers, which ultimately saw the Spurs exiting the postseason in a climatic Game 7.
It's unclear where Aron Baynes might be headed. Certain teams require but there are teams that need capable reserve centers that provide a bit of everything, from rebounding to paint protection to scoring.
Consider for example, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Is it too far-fetched to imagine that Baynes might be more capable than the aging Kendrick Perkins? Boomers teammate Matthew Dellavedova has received his qualifying offer from the Cavs, and the duo would definitely work well together. Let us not forget about LeBron James' consummate playmaking off the pick and roll too.
How about the Dallas Mavericks? The team just lost Tyson Chandler to the Phoenix Suns, and literally have zero big men on their roster at the moment. The Mavs do not play a run-and-gun style of offense, and Baynes might be a good fit.
This might be less palatable for NBA fans, but Europe might be a potential landing spot. Baynes had declined to comment on his impending free agency status during an interview with Fairfax Media in early May, preferring to focus on the coming Boomers campaign.
"I'm not going to speculate on what might happen – I'm going to take some time off then play for the Australian national team," Baynes said.
"That's why I have an agent – I'll let him handle that." - Australian NBA big man Aron Baynes reflects on sudden end to NBA season
No news on interested teams have surfaced as yet, but we'll continue to keep an eye out as free agency progresses. Stay tuned.