Boston Celtics add rim protection with signing of Aron Baynes

AUBURN HILLS, MI - MARCH 30: Spencer Dinwiddie
AUBURN HILLS, MI - MARCH 30: Spencer Dinwiddie /

The Boston Celtics have used their mid-level exception to sign former Detroit big man Aron Baynes to a one-year contract.

After agreeing to sign Gordon Hayward, the Boston Celtics had one more move to make to bolster their front court. They still had their mid-level exception, which allows a team to sign a player to a set amount of money and go over the salary cap without penalty.

The Celtics used their exception on former Detroit Pistons center Aron Baynes.

Baynes, a native Australian, will join the Celtics on a one-year contract worth $4.3 million, the value of the room exception.

Since the team was not over the luxury tax, but too close to it to earn the non-taxpayer exception, they were only able to offer the room exception, which likely pushed away other potential targets like Dewayne Dedmon and Tarik Black.

Who is Aron Baynes?

A five-year veteran, Baynes comes to Boston after three years with the San Antonio Spurs and two years with Detroit. He appeared in 75 games last season and averaged 4.9 and 4.4 rebounds in 15.5 minutes. His per 36 numbers were 11.3 points and 10.3 rebounds, showing the potential to really help a weak rebounding Celtics team.

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Many big men in the NBA struggle with their free throw shooting, but Baynes has proven to be more effective than his counterparts. He is a career 84.7% shooter, including 84% last season and has also demonstrated an ability to hit jump shots.

Muscle down low

Baynes will team up with his old Detroit teammate Marcus Morris, who was traded to Boston earlier this week for Avery Bradley and a future second round draft pick. While Morris is undersized for a power forward and Baynes is slightly undersized for a center in today’s NBA, they should work well off each other in the rotation to grab rebounds and shoot from deep.

At this price, the Celtics are getting great value for twelve to fifteen minutes per game. Baynes, similarly to Morris, plays tough in all facets of his game, but especially on defense. He averaged 0.5 blocks per game and has demonstrated an ability to hold his own in the post.

Baynes makes the most out of his short minutes on the court and has always shown potential for expanded playing time if he can consistently dominate on the boards and hit shots.

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The Celtics are not asking him to be their center of the future, but he should provide an ability to keep the intensity up while allowing Al Horford some time to rest.