FRIDAY, 10:37am: Yao Ming’s Shanghai Sharks are among the teams in China looking to sign Baynes away from San Antonio, sources tell ESPN.com’s Marc Stein (on Twitter). Baynes, meanwhile, is still in the process of weighing all his options (link). The Spurs would still retain his NBA rights if he chose to play abroad.
MONDAY, 11:46am: The Spurs are open to a sign-and-trade deal that would send center Aron Baynes elsewhere, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. The 27-year-old is the only remaining unsigned restricted free agent in the league aside from Eric Bledsoe, as our Free Agent Tracker shows.
Reports over the last month have indicated that Baynes and the Spurs have at least some level of mutual interest in an arrangement that would keep him in San Antonio, even as Baynes has cast his eyes toward signing in Europe while the Spurs have considered other players. San Antonio has 14 fully guaranteed pacts and is carrying Bryce Cotton, Josh Davis and JaMychal Green, each of whom has a nominal guarantee on his deal. The Spurs have carried fewer than 15 players on their opening-night roster in each of the past three seasons, as I noted earlier, so adding Baynes to the mix would leave them poised to go against their recent history. Reports have also linked San Antonio to Ray Allen, Julyan Stone, Ryan Hollins and others in recent weeks.
San Antonio is not without financial flexibility, possessing both its $5.305MM mid-level exception and $2.077MM biannual exception. The Spurs could use part of either to ink Baynes and send him out in a sign-and-trade, perhaps for non-guaranteed salary in return.