JULY 12, 1:07pm: The deal is official, the Pistons announced.
JULY 2, 12:23pm: The Pistons and Aron Baynes have a deal on what will be a three-year contract with a player option after year two, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links). It could be worth as much as $20MM, Stein adds. The final number depends on how much cap space the Pistons have to spend on him, tweets Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
San Antonio elected not to tender a qualifying offer to Baynes this year after the big man’s protracted restricted free agency in 2014. The Daniel Moldovan client signed a one-year deal for $2.077MM with San Antonio shortly before the start of training camp, and he benefited from injury trouble for Tiago Splitter that opened more playing time, affording Baynes the chance to showcase his bruising inside game and end up with a significant raise.
Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy made signing a pair of backup centers a priority going into free agency, as Keith Langlois of Pistons.com noted, though it didn’t seem as though he’d spend quite so freely to accomplish that end. The market for small forwards, the position Van Gundy had wanted to address first, has been especially player-friendly, so it seems the Pistons have turned to Plan B.