Aron Baynes probably won’t decide whether to opt out of his contract for next season until close to the June 20th deadline, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. The back-up center is set to make $6.5MM next year, but has the chance to get a much larger payday on the open market. He is considered one of the top reserve big men in the league, averaging 4.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 72 games this season. The Pistons are limited in their offer because they only hold Early Bird Rights on Baynes. That means they can go over the cap, but can only give him a 175% raise, which would amount to about $11.3MM for next season. “He’s enjoyed himself there,” said Baynes’ agent, Entersport Management president Marc Fleisher. “He likes [Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy], he likes the organization, but he’s also got to consider the financial ramifications.”
There’s more news out of Detroit:
- Restricted free agent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has an evidentiary hearing set for May 18th in connection with his March arrest for DUI, Ellis adds in the same piece. Caldwell-Pope may face a suspension from the league if he is convicted.
- Pistons GM Jeff Bower is considering the $8.4MM mid-level exception as a way to upgrade the roster, Ellis writes in a separate story. Detroit has made good use of the MLE in the past, signing Chauncey Billups in 2002 and Antonio McDyess in 2004, but Ellis notes that the league’s changing salary structure has made it harder to find good players at that level. He mentions Boston’s James Young and Golden State’s Ian Clark as possible targets.
- The Pistons will face difficulty in building a contender without a high draft pick on the roster, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Detroit’s highest draftees are Caldwell-Pope and Stanley Johnson, who went with the eighth pick in their respective drafts. Andre Drummond, who was taken ninth in 2012, and Marcus Morris, who went 14th in 2011, are the Pistons’ only other lottery picks. “We’re one of two teams that don’t have a top-seven pick anywhere on their roster,” Van Gundy said. Detroit is slotted at No. 12 heading into the May 16th lottery.