Celtics

Aron Baynes fills a major need for the Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics and free agent center Aron Baynes agreed to a one-year, $4.3 million contract earlier today, adding some size to a small roster. 

Baynes opted out of his $6.5 million contract with the Detroit Pistons in June, becoming an unrestricted free agent. The 6’10”, 260 pound New Zealander played five seasons in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons. He finished last season averaging 4.9 points and 4.4 rebounds over 15.5 minutes per game. His strength is rebounding, averaging over 10 per 36 minutes the last four seasons. 

The Pistons had the opportunity to move Baynes at the trade deadline, but Stan Van Gundy understood his impact. His impact is why the Celtics signed him.

“It’s really been proven for two years now that our defense is significantly better with Aron on the floor,” Van Gundy said. “His communication, his toughness, the fact that he reacts quickly and is ahead of the play, really, really helps our defense. And he helps us play well on offense, too. He’s a great screener, he understands the game.”

The Celtics needed defensive help after trading Avery Bradley. Baynes improves a defensive rotation including Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jae Crowder, Marcus Morris and Al Horford. 

Brad Stevens’ offense relies on bigs setting screens to create space for jump shooters. With Isaiah Thomas, Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum, the Celtics will take more jump shots. 

Baynes has all the attributes to fill the Celtics biggest needs. He gives the Celtics a rebounder, big-bodied defender and physical presence they didn’t have last season. As the only true center on the roster, Baynes fills a major need on the Celtics roster. 

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