Aron Baynes

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.

Atlantic Notes: Wright, Russell, Baynes

One month into his third NBA season and first as a regular member of the Raptors rotation, Delon Wright has dislocated his shoulder. As Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes, the guard suffered the injury in Thursday’s win over the Pelicans and will be out for an indefinite amount of time.

Wright had stepped up in the vacancy that Cory Joseph‘s free agency departure created. His 7.6 points and 2.6 assists per game were both career bests for the Raptors.

While there’s no guarantee that the 25-year-old will miss significant time for the Raptors, the injury comes on the same shoulder that he had surgery on in the summer of 2016, Josh Lewenberg of TSN says. In his first two NBA campaigns, Wright played just 27 games apiece.

A press release from the Raptors’ media relations department says that the next step for Wright will be to travel with the team to New York City next week for a special consultation.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Among the numerous players stepping up for the Celtics this season is offseason free agent addition Aron Baynes, Nick Metallinos of ESPN writes. Baynes provides toughness and leadership for a Boston team that lacked size last season.
  • The “reality of the NBA” has forced the Nets to experiment with smaller lineups. That’s head coach Kenny Atkinson‘s justification for why Timofey Mozgov‘s role has shrunk over the course of the season, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes.
  • Sidelined Nets guard D’Angelo Russell underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left knee today, the team’s official Twitter account tweets. Russell has been out of action since November 11. Expect the team to apply for a disabled player exception. Per Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders, general manager Sean Marks says there’s “probably a good chance” that they do. A DPE would be designed to replace Jeremy Lin, rather than Russell, since Lin is out for the season.

Celtics Notes: Hayward, Stevens, Horford, Baynes

“I had run that play countless times” is how Gordon Hayward begins a recap of his injury and the aftermath in a lengthy piece posted on his website. Titled “In an Instant,” the article retraces the collision that led to Hayward’s season-ending injury on opening night, his experiences at the hospital, the outpouring of support and the beginning of rehab.

Hayward’s surgery was successful and he expects to be ready for next season. He got thousands of messages of encouragement, and among those that stand out came from Paul George and Kobe Bryant, who both recovered from serious leg injuries, and the Utah Jazz, which Hayward left in free agency this summer. Hayward credits the Celtics for helping with the rehab process and notes that his injury will require young players like Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to grow up faster.

“I keep imagining what it’s going to be like to step onto the floor at the Garden, and make my regular season debut as a Celtic,” Hayward writes. “It’s going to be a little delayed. But with each day of my rehab, I’ll be that much closer to making it happen. I’m already dreaming about sharing that moment with everyone here in Boston—a city that I’m still getting to know, but that I’ve connected with through all of this in ways beyond anything I could have imagined.”

There’s more news out of Boston:

  • Hayward is still very limited by the injury, but coach Brad Stevens said he has begun shooting from a chair, tweets Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Hayward is still in a walking boot, but had a hard cast removed.
  • Celtics players are crediting Stevens for keeping the team from panicking after Hayward went down, relays Chris Forsberg of ESPN. After an 0-2 start, Boston has strung together five straight wins to reach the top of the Eastern Conference. “Once [the Hayward injury] happened, we really didn’t know where we were at as a group,” said Al Horford. “But I felt like we’ve really come together and we’re trying to take it day by day. Just listening to Coach, and he’s steering us the right way.”
  • The Celtics haven’t lost since inserting Aron Baynes into the starting lineup, notes David Morrow of AmicoHoops. After Boston dropped its first two games with Horford as the starting center, Stevens made a lineup change to add size. Baynes took over in the middle, with Horford shifting to power forward, Tatum at small forward and Brown moving to the backcourt. It has become the team’s best overall lineup and its top rebounding group, grabbing 56% of all boards. Baynes, who signed with the Celtics this summer, is averaging a career-best 5.1 rebounds in about 20 minutes per game.

Celtics Notes: Morris, Baynes, Defense, Ojeleye

Marcus Morris may be ready for his debut with the Celtics this week, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. The 6’9 forward was acquired from the Pistons this summer in a deal for Avery Bradley, but has been unable to suit up because of soreness in his left knee. Morris had hoped to be ready for tomorrow’s game with the Spurs, but now Wednesday seems most likely.

“He needs to have at least a day of hard practice with our guys before he could play in a game,” said coach Brad Stevens. “That’s probably a little bit optimistic for Monday.” Morris didn’t travel with the team on its current road trip, staying in Boston for more treatments on the knee.

There’s more news out of Boston:

  • Aron Baynes was an under-the-radar move in a newsworthy Celtics offseason, but he is turning out to be a valuable addition, Blakely writes in a separate story. The former Piston has provided a physical presence in the paint, something the team lacked last year. Baynes, who signed a one-year, $4.3MM deal, has started three of the six games so far and is averaging 6.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per night. “Everybody has their own role to play and value to add,” Stevens said. “He’s physical and tough.”
  • There were concerns that Boston’s defense might decline after losing Jae Crowder and Bradley in offseason trades, but early-season numbers show an improvement, Blakely notes in another piece. The Celtics ranked third in the league heading into Saturday’s game with a defensive rating of 95.9. They are in the top 10 in steals, points off turnovers and effective field goal percentage. “It’s great team defense,” said Daniel Theis, who got his first start this week. “Two games in a row now, under 90 points, that’s really good defense.”
  • Rookie forward Semi Ojeleye only plays about 11 minutes per night, but he gets the toughest defensive matchups when he’s on the court, writes Jay King of MassLive. A second-round pick in this year’s draft, Ojeleye earned a roster spot on the strength of his defense and the Celtics have taken advantage of that attribute since the season began. Ojeleye has found himself matched up with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kristaps Porzingis and LeBron James. “You just try to prepare, watch film, try to be always ready,” Ojeleye said. “You try to take it seriously, know their tendencies, and go out there and just do what you can.”