Aron Baynes

Celtics Notes: Williams, Irving, Tatum, Baynes

Rookie center Robert Williams is optimistic that his troublesome right knee will allow him to be ready when training camp opens September 25, relays A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Williams hasn’t been cleared yet for five-on-five drills, but he says rehab work on the knee is going well.

“I’m still taking it day by day,” Williams said. “These people [Celtics] have a lot of time, a lot of money invested in you. They don’t want to mess up what they got going. I’m thankful for the trainers and coaches.”

Concerns about Williams’ health and work ethic caused him to slip in the draft, where the Celtics found him too tempting to pass up at No. 27. Williams acknowledges that he needs to rebuild his image, which wasn’t helped when he overslept for his introductory press conference or failed to make the first Summer League practice because of a missed flight. He said he has been inspired by the example set by his teammates.

“Every morning I’m going in at 8, 8:30 [to work out],” Williams said.Al [Horford] and [Aron] Baynes, they’re in at 6 a.m. Their workout day has ended. See that repetition every day … I learned a lot from them already.” 

There’s more today out of Boston:

  • Clippers coach Doc Rivers believes another successful season is the best way to convince Kyrie Irving to stay in Boston when he hits free agency next summer, Blakely writes in a separate story. “At the end of the day, I think it’ll come down to winning,” Rivers said. “I really believe that. If you win enough, they usually want to stay.”
  • Jayson Tatum showed he has the talent to become a star during his rookie season, but the wealth of talent in Boston may keep him from reaching that level for a while, Blakely contends in another piece. With Marcus Morris set for free agency next summer and Irving, Horford and Baynes all with option years, Tatum’s role is likely to expand in the future.
  • The desire to play for a contender was enough to keep Baynes in Boston, notes Taylor C. Snow of NBA.com. The Australian center didn’t look around much in free agency before re-signing with the Celtics for $11MM over two seasons. “It’s one of those things where I enjoy and want to be in a place where they want me as well,” Baynes said. “And that’s definitely something that I’ve felt from the front office and everyone involved.”

Celtics Re-Sign Aron Baynes

JULY 7: Baynes has formally signed his new contract with the Celtics, according to the NBA’s official transactions log.

JUNE 30: The Celtics have reached an agreement with free agent center Aron Baynes, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). According to Charania, Baynes will re-sign with Boston on a two-year, $11MM contract. The second year will be a player option, Charania adds (via Twitter).

A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston first reported several days ago that Baynes would likely stick with the Celtics as an unrestricted free agent.

Baynes, who was playing on a one-year, $4.33MM deal in 2017/18, averaged 6.0 PPG and 5.4 RPG in 81 regular season games (18.3 MPG) for the Celtics. The 31-year-old was also a key contributor in the postseason, flashing a newfound outside shot — after having made just four three-pointers over the course of his six NBA seasons, Baynes knocked down 11 of 23 three-point attempts in the playoffs.

Having initially signed Baynes during the 2017 offseason, the Celtics hold his Non-Bird rights this summer. Those rights would allow the team to offer a starting salary of up to $5,193,600, which is likely the route that Boston is taking. Using Baynes’ Non-Bird rights would allow the C’s to retain their mid-level exception for another move.

Baynes was the No. 41 free agent on our list of 2018’s top 50 free agents.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Aron Baynes Considered Likely To Remain With Celtics

Aron Baynes will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, free to sign with any NBA team. However, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston, Baynes is a good bet to stick with the Celtics. Multiple league sources tell Blakely that they expect the C’s to sign Baynes to a new multiyear contract.

As Blakely details, Baynes has made no secret of his desire to remain in Boston, suggesting in his exit interview after the season that he’d like to return. The veteran center also represented the team at the NBA Awards Show on Monday night, which doesn’t seem like the behavior of someone who expects to sign with a new team next week.

From the Celtics’ perspective, re-signing Baynes would make sense. With Greg Monroe also a free agent and first-round pick Robert Williams likely not ready for a major role, the team will need to find a way to fortify its frontcourt. Re-signing Baynes using his Non-Bird rights would allow the C’s to avoid giving up trade assets or dipping into their mid-level exception to add a big man.

Baynes, who was playing on a one-year, $4.33MM deal in 2017/18, averaged 6.0 PPG and 5.4 RPG in 81 regular season games (18.3 MPG) for the Celtics. The 31-year-old was also a key contributor in the postseason, flashing a newfound outside shot — after having made just four three-pointers over the course of his six NBA seasons, Baynes knocked down 11 of 23 three-point attempts in the playoffs.

Baynes is one of several free agents of note for the Celtics, who will also see Monroe and Shane Larkin reach unrestricted free agency while Marcus Smart becomes a restricted free agent.

Atlantic Notes: Baynes, Trade Talks, Knicks Coaches

Aron Baynes, who is set to hit unrestricted free agency this summer, has previously declared his interest in returning to the Celtics. Baynes once again reiterated that desire, but said he understands that the business side of the game may prevent a reunion, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe writes.

“I always want a big role. I want more of a role and I want to be able to contribute to the team more. That’s always one of those big things. That was one of the big reasons for coming here. And then how the family is. You definitely have to look out for them. And also just the living situation,” Baynes said. “Money comes into it. That’s the business side of things, but I don’t think it’s the only side of things either. So I think I showed that when I came here at the start of the season as well. I’m looking forward to it, but at the end of the day my agent is going to be doing most of the work and it’s not on me.”

Baynes signed a one-year deal with Boston last summer and produced a solid 6.0 PPG and 5.4 RPG in 81 games for Boston. However, with a healthy Daniel Theis expected to return and the Celtics possibly wanting to allocate his potential salary elsewhere, Baynes is not a lock to return.

Check out more Atlantic Division notes below:
  • The Celtics enter this summer with just one pick in the draft and no cap room. As Himmelsbach writes, that reality has the Celtics preparing for a calmer summer after a couple eventful offseasons. The team is expected to enter next season with a roster similar to the one that almost made the NBA Finals.
  • Jud Buechler, a former part of the Bulls’ 72-10 season and an assistant coach with the Lakers, has agreed to join David Fizdale‘s Knicks coaching staff, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports.
  • In addition to Buechler, Keith Smart, Pat Sullivan, and Royal Ivey have all been brought in as assistant coaches, the Knicks confirmed with a press release. Their hirings were previously reported.

Celtics Notes: Smart, Rozier, Larkin, Baynes

The Celtics would like to retain both Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier next season as they look to maintain depth, sources tell Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. While the franchise would like to bring everyone back, GM Danny Ainge acknowledged that tough decisions could be on the horizon.

“We’ve been managing the payroll pretty well up to this point and we know that there are some really big, tough decisions going forward,” Ainge said.

[RELATED: Will Marcus Smart Be A Celtic Next Season?]

Here’s more from Washburn on the Celtics:

  • Shane Larkin, who will be an unrestricted free agent, will likely command a multiyear offer, as other teams will see him as a player who could hold down the backup point guard spot, Washburn speculates. The scribe adds that Larkin could see a substantial raise on his 2017/18 salary, which came in at slightly more than $1.47MM.
  • The market for Smart will be difficult to predict, Washburn contends in the same piece. The Celtics are expected to allow Smart, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, to find an offer and evaluate whether or not it makes sense to match.
  • If the Celtics are going to bring Aron Baynes back, they may have to use their mid-level exception since they do not own his Bird Rights, Washburn notes. The scribe argues that the team should attempt to sell Baynes on a one-year discounted deal with the lure of playing for a serious championship contender. However, he admits that such an arrangement is unlikely given the big man’s solid 2017/18 campaign.
  • Washburn believes Greg Monroe is unlikely to return next season. Monroe’s defense prevented him from carving out a significant role during the Celtics’ postseason run.

Successful Surgery For Gordon Hayward, Aron Baynes

Gordon Hayward and and Aron Baynes both underwent successful operations today, the Celtics announced on their website.

Hayward, who wasn’t able to return after fracturing his fibula on opening night, had a plate and screws removed that were inserted after the injury. Plans call for him to resume basketball activities in six to eight weeks, and he is expected to be at full strength when training camp opens in September.

The team describes Hayward’s ankle and fibula as “structurally sound,” adding that the plate and screws needed to be taken out because they were irritating his peroneal tendons.

Baynes needed nasal septoplasty surgery after suffering a fracture during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. He is expected to resume basketball activities in two to four weeks.

Celtics Notes: Baynes, Irving, Roster, Smart

Now that the Celtics’ season is over, Aron Baynes will undergo surgery to repair a broken nose, which he suffered during Game 6 of the team’s series against Cleveland, the big man told reporters today, including Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald (Twitter link).

Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving‘s absence from Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals was also related to a nasal issue — as ESPN’s Chris Forsberg details, Irving underwent surgery to repair a deviated septum and wasn’t able to fly to the game in the wake of the procedure.

“It was a residual from the facial fracture he had earlier in the season,” Irving’s agent Jeff Wechsler told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan. “He had the knee surgery, and now he’s taken care of this sinus surgery, so he will be all set going forward.”

Here’s more on the Celtics as their offseason officially gets underway:

  • Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe passes along several notable quotes from the Celtics’ exit interview today. Among those comments: C’s president Danny Ainge indicating that the team is unlikely to make major roster moves unless those changes represent clear upgrades.
  • Asked today about re-signing RFA-to-be Marcus Smart, Ainge expressed confidence in ownership’s willingness to spend, tweets Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. As Himmelsbach relays, Smart believes the Celtics will look to bring him back, and said he’d like to stay with the franchise. “I want to be in Boston,” Smart said. “I want to be here. I love this city, I love this team, I love the atmosphere it gives off. I’ve been here for four years. My heart’s here.” Smart also spoke after last night’s game about his value in free agency, as we detailed this morning.
  • Despite Ainge’s suggestion that the roster may not change much this offseason, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News says it will be interesting to see if the Celtics get involved in trade talks in the coming months in an effort to tidy up certain areas where their depth chart is crowded.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) previews the Celtics’ offseason, exploring the possibility of a Irving extension among many other roster moves.
  • Earlier today, we took a closer look at the Celtics’ salary cap situation heading into the summer.

Atlantic Notes: Redick, Draft, Baynes, Bamba, Fizdale

J.J. Redick joined the Sixers as the well-paid, seasoned veteran who was expected to help the team reach the postseason with his leadership and three-point shooting ability. Redick did just that as the Sixers charged into the postseason, making it to the second round before losing to the Celtics.

As Rich Hofmann of The Athletic (subscription required) writes, Redick’s arrival was on a one-year deal with the hope that both sides can work out something more long-term in the future. However, after such as successful season, and the Sixers’ plan to pursue top free agents to pair with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, Redick’s potential departure appears to be on the backburner. Redick remains optimistic about what will happen with his free agency this summer.

“I think it’s a mutual appreciation,” Redick said. “I’m sure we all hope that I am back. The numbers can get tricky. It’s not my job to worry about that. I’ll let Bryan, my agent, and the events over the next two months sort of play out, and we’ll make a decision.”

Check out more Atlantic Division notes below:

  • Derek Bodner of The Athletic examines which prospects make sense for the Sixers as they prepare to draft with the 10th overall pick. Among the names that Bodner feels makes sense for Philadelphia includes Michael Porter Jr., Trae Young, Collin Sexton, and Miles Bridges.
  • A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston writes about how Celtics big man Aron Baynes developed his perimeter shooting after coach Brad Stevens noticed Baynes knocking down mid-range jumpers with ease during practice. “He’s shot them every single day, through training camp, practice, through pre-game shooting and everything else,” Stevens recalled. “We’ve encouraged him to shoot all year especially from the corners.”
  • Former Knicks All-Star and Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo feels that David Fizdale did not get enough of an opportunity to prove himself as head coach with the Grizzlies, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. McAdoo worked with Fizdale in Miami for almost a decade and believes Fizdale can be an impactful coach if he’s not restrained. “He did do a good job in Memphis, but it’s a player’s league,’’ McAdoo said. “Gasol didn’t like sitting on the bench. David felt this was the best way to go. It was a problem and upper management got rid of him.’’
  • Texas’ Mohamed Bamba opened some eyes with his wingspan and defensive ability at the draft combine. As the Knicks prepare to draft ninth overall, the dream of pairing Bamba in the backcourt with Kristaps Porzingis may be fading, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.

Celtics Notes: Hayward, Smart, Irving, Baynes

Plans have been delayed for Celtics forward Gordon Hayward to start joining the team on road trips, according to Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. The Celtics want Hayward, who suffered a brutal ankle injury on opening night, to do more conditioning and strength work on an anti-gravity treadmill before clearing him to travel.

“It doesn’t look like it’s any time in the next couple of weeks,” coach Brad Stevens said. “We talked the other day. He’s gonna do another alter-G process or progress starting on Sunday where he goes from 60 percent of his body weight all the way to 100, and then once he gets to 100 — once he can do stuff where he’s running or jumping, then it makes sense to bring him on the road.”

Hayward has said he hasn’t given up hope of playing again before the season ends. However, Stevens reiterated that the plan has always been to bring Hayward on the road for camaraderie and emotional support, rather than as an on-court contributor.

There’s more today out of Boston:

  • Marcus Smart feels fortunate that he didn’t put himself out for the rest of the season when he punched a picture frame last month, relays Chris Forsberg of ESPN. Smart was sidelined for 11 games with lacerations on his right hand, but doctors told him a piece of glass barely missed shredding two tendons near the pinky on his shooting hand. A little further over and Smart probably would have needed season-ending surgery. “So, [the doctors said],’You should go play the lotto or something because you missed your tendons,'” Smart said. “They don’t understand it. They don’t really see how. So I thank God for that every day. It could have been worse.”
  • Even though he asked to be traded, Kyrie Irving had a lot of adjustments to make when he was sent from Cleveland to Boston over the offseason. “Been a lot of newness, honestly,” he said in an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “It’s an adjustment in itself. Being with a totally different group of guys, trying to bridge that gap with our group and trying to be my best self with our group. It’s been awesome. Trying at times, but well worth it.” 
  • Center Aron Baynes is sitting out another game tonight with a sprained left elbow, the Celtics tweeted. He will undergo an MRI on Sunday to determine the extent of the damage, relays Jay King of MassLive“He’s still sore,” Stevens told reporters. “But he’ll see our team docs and do the MRI thing tomorrow.”

2018 Free Agent Stock Watch: Boston Celtics

The Celtics are in one of the most enviable positions in the NBA, with a winning core composed primarily of veteran players in or near their prime and a wave of promising young players with years left on their rookie deals. This summer, then, won’t be a particularly eventful one relative to the club’s 2017 transformation.

While the club does have a few pending free agents, most are replaceable and nearly all are affordable. The question the Celtics will have to answer in the summer then, is whether they’d be better off welcoming the selected few back or auditioning new options.

Aron Baynes vertical GettyAron Baynes, C, 30 (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $4.3MM deal in 2017
After two years serving as Andre Drummond‘s primary backup in Detroit, Baynes signed on with the Celtics over the summer, immediately slotting into the team’s rotation as the most physically imposing big man on the roster. While Al Horford has thrived in customary fashion handling the bulk of responsibility at the five, Baynes has done what’s been asked of him. The C’s won’t need to break the bank to bring Baynes back next season, so – without any other traditional big bodies on board – it’s an easy enough sell.

Shane Larkin, PG, 25 (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $1.5MM deal in 2017
Larkin, an undersized 25-year-old, has bounced around the NBA since coming out of Miami in 2013, but hasn’t made much of an impression at any of his four stops despite fascinating speed. Given Boston’s depth and contention timeline, that’s not likely to change. It’s hard to imagine that a Celtics team with no shortage of assets would prefer a fourth-string point guard with a precarious NBA future over the roster flexibility that letting him walk would bring.

Marcus Smart, PG, 23 (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $14.8MM deal in 2014
It’s weird to remember that Smart is still only 23 years old, considering that he’s carved out a niche as a gritty, reliable defender over the course of several postseasons. His offensive game may leave much to be desired – he’s a 29.1% career three-point shooter – but he helps a successful team win games night in and night out. It’s not that much of a stretch, then, to picture other teams looking to poach Smart’s services, hoping for some of that winning mojo to wear off on them. Unfortunately for Smart, a restricted free agent, there’s a dearth of teams projected to have cap space next summer, the majority of whom will likely pursue more grandiose home runs swings. Expect Smart back with the Celtics at a fair price.