Aron Baynes: "heart’s still here", but wants "to be in the right situation"
Lost by some in the concern over where Kyrie Irving and Al Horford might re-sign next season is the fact that big man Aron Baynes has the option to walk as well.
Baynes, who has a player option on the 2019-20 season of his contract (for $5.5 million next season, if he chooses to opt-in), is just starting to think about his future plans (per NBC Boston's Justin Leger):
" haven’t really thought too much about that ... I know my heart’s still here in Boston. I love Boston. It’s been great to my family. There’s no better place to play than TD Garden during the playoffs or when you’re in the middle of a comeback. So if I’m thinking of that, I know where I want to be. But at the same time I’ve got to talk with Danny, I’ve got to talk to Brad and see what their thoughts are as well. I want to be in the right situation."
While Baynes might not be an All-Star frontcourt player like teammate Al, his excellent defense and occasional trey have made his deal one of the better values around the league.
And while there's plenty of other big man options on the cheap, most are notably worse on one or both ends of the floor -- or cost quite a bit more cap than the Boston Celtics are likely to have in anything but the absolute worst-possible scenarios.
If Aron does come back, do not expect him to be salary ballast in an Anthony Davis trade deal given All of Australia's desire to play for a contending team and his love for the city. If he departs, the team will have a continent-sized hole they'll be ill-prepared to fill.