Jerryd Bayless has led an itinerant NBA life, bouncing between five teams in five and a half years in the NBA. He’s a free agent at season’s end, so he could make his stay in Boston a short one after just having arrived via trade from the Grizzlies last week. Instead, he’d prefer to stay in green for a lot longer, as he tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
“Would l like to find a home? Of course,” Bayless said. “I would love to be here for the rest of my career if I could and find some stability.”
The 25-year-old guard said to Blakely that he’s expressed those sentiments to GM Danny Ainge and coach Brad Stevens. Ainge and the rest of the C’s front office have coveted Bayless for a long time, Blakely notes, so it seems there’s a decent chance the 2008 lottery pick will get to stick around beyond this year.
Bayless is making $3.135MM in the final season of a two-year deal he signed with Memphis in 2012. The Celtics have his Early Bird rights, so they can re-sign him for up to four years with a starting salary in the neighborhood of $5.5MM. The precise starting salary Bayless could receive won’t be known until after the July Moratorium, when the NBA will determine the average salary for the season, but he’ll be eligible for at least $5,486,250, which is 175% of his pay for this year.
Regardless, I’m not sure the Celtics or any other team would be willing to go quite that high, and just how well he meshes in Boston after Rajon Rondo returns from injury will go a long way in determining how much Bayless will command. Still, he’s off to a strong start, if his 15 fourth quarter points last night are any indication.