FEBRUARY 2: Asked about Wednesday’s report, Baynes suggested that he hasn’t yet decided to opt out of his contract with the Pistons this summer, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press.
“I definitely haven’t thought about anything yet,” Baynes said. “It’s not even All-Star break. There’s a long way left in this season. I’m just trying to go out there and make the most of it.”
While Baynes may not be considering his offseason decision, his representatives have likely thought about it, and an opt-out would certainly make sense. Last summer, only three veterans with player options actually exercised them, and none of those three players – Mo Williams, Tim Duncan, and Caron Butler – have appeared in an NBA game this season.
FEBRUARY 1: The Pistons are exploring the trade market for possible deals involving Aron Baynes and Boban Marjanovic, league sources tell Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. It’s not clear what sort of return the team would be seeking for its bigs.
Baynes, 30, joined the Pistons as a free agent in 2015 after spending the first three seasons of his NBA career in San Antonio. The Washington State alum has been a key part of Detroit’s rotation during the last two seasons, averaging 5.6 PPG and 4.4 RPG in 126 games (15.2 MPG). Baynes has a $6.5MM player option on his contract for the 2017/18 season, but league sources tell Scotto that the big man intends to turn that option down and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Marjanovic, meanwhile, also came to the Pistons as a Spurs free agent, inking a three-year, $21MM deal with Detroit last summer. In his first season with the club though, Marjanovic has played sparingly, appearing in just 20 games and averaging only 7.3 MPG. He saw his most extensive playing time in January when Baynes only played 17 minutes in a five-game span.
Baynes’ value on the trade market will likely be limited, since he can become a free agent this summer. Marjanovic is under contract through 2018/19, but has yet to show he can be a consistent and productive rotation player, which may make teams hesitant to pursue him. Neither player figures to produce a significant return for Detroit, but we’ll see if the Pistons end up moving one or the other in the coming weeks.