During his first season with the Phoenix Suns, Baynes had the best year of his career, posting career highs of 11.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.4 three-pointers per game. The chief reasoning for his success came from his increased usage as he also averaged a career high of 22.5 minutes per game as the backup center for Phoenix. He's moved on from the Suns, however, inking a two-year, $14.3 million contract with the Raptors after the team lost both Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka. Baynes figures to start in Toronto, and should again be in line for a career year. If he can see close to 30 minutes per night, he should be one of the better fantasy centers in the league. In the 19 games that Baynes saw 25-plus minutes last season, he averaged 16.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.2 threes.
After spending the last two seasons in Boston, Baynes was traded to Phoenix on the day of the 2019 NBA Draft. It'll be a big change of scenery for Baynes, who is going from a perennial contender to a team focusing on the development of its young talent. Baynes is coming off a final season with the Celtics plagued by a lingering ankle injury that led to him appearing in just 51 games, and he ended up averaging 5.6 points and 4.7 rebounds across 16.1 minutes per contest. Now in Phoenix, Baynes will come off the bench, with second-year center DeAndre Ayton and newly-acquired Dario Saric likely slotting in as the team's starting frontcourt. With that, Baynes will likely be competing with Frank Kaminsky for the frontcourt minutes off the bench. While Kaminsky offers the benefits of a legitimate floor-spacing big man, Baynes is a much better defensive center, sets brick-wall screens and has seen improvement in his three-point shooting himself, as he hit 34.4 percent of his shots from behind the arc last year. Regardless, barring any serious injuries, it's unlikely Baynes has an extensive role for the Suns this season.
Baynes knows his role and plays it well. And yet a funny thing happened during last season’s playoffs: Baynes drained 11 three pointers in 19 games. That may not sound alarming, until you realize that prior to the playoffs, the man with the bun had hit only four shots from behind the arc over his entire six-year NBA career. Those 11 playoff threes came on only 23 attempts, making for a tidy 48% accuracy rate. Small sample size aside, if Baynes can carry over that extended range into 2018-19, he may be able to emerge as more than an energy big man off the bench. That said, with Al Horford entrenched as the starter, Gordon Hayward returning, and Jayson Tatum looking like a future star, veterans Baynes and Marcus Morris will have a difficult time carving out big-time minutes.
Maybe American cash translates a funny way into New Zealand currency. Baynes turned down the $6.5 million player option in his Detroit Piston contract to hit free agency, eventually settling on a $4.3 million one-year agreement with Boston. While the pay cut might sting, Baynes’ chances for a Finals appearance have increased considering the loaded Celtics roster. And maybe Baynes believes he can improve on the 15.5 minutes per game he received in Detroit, backing up Andre Drummond. The departures of Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Jae Crowder and Tyler Zeller certainly open up a lot of big man minutes in Boston. Baynes might also receive a few starts at center should coach Brad Stevens experiment with Al Horford at power forward. It’s no secret that Boston needs rebounding help and rim protection. Baynes will battle with German import Daniel Theis to prove who can be the better rebounder off the bench. With potentially eleven new members on the Celtics’ roster, including Baynes, expect Stevens to experiment with different lineups throughout the season. That could mean some DNP’s as well as some 20 minute games for the 30-year-old Baynes. Most likely, Baynes’ role will not be established until the All-Star break
As was the case in San Antonio, Baynes occupied the primary backup center role in Detroit after signing a three-year, $20 million contract with the team last summer. While starter Andre Drummond dominated the playing time at the position and was generally able to stay healthy this season, Baynes performed effectively in his 15.2 minutes per game over 81 appearances, churning out averages of 6.3 points (on 50.5% shooting) and 4.7 boards. Unlike Drummond, Baynes excels at the charity stripe, where his career 80.1 mark makes him a great alternative when opposing teams choose to play 'Hack-a-Drummond.' Though the Pistons brought in another former San Antonio center in Boban Marjanovic this offseason, he's more of an insurance policy and may not claim the top backup job until next summer, when Baynes will become a free agent and figures to sign elsewhere. Baynes' fantasy upside remains limited given Drummond's fairly pristine record on the health front, but he'll provide the Pistons with some real value whenever he's on the floor.
Baynes played his first three seasons in the NBA with the Spurs but opted to sign a three-year deal with the Pistons this summer. Through 70 games last season, he averaged 6.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.2 steals, and 0.3 blocks in 16 minutes per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 87 percent from the line. With Greg Monroe leaving the Pistons to sign with the Bucks this summer, the Pistons needed to secure a competent big man who could serve as a nice backup for Andre Drummond. In signing Baynes, coach Stan Van Gundy insulated the team from having a poor backup center by getting a player who has experience playing on a championship team. Baynes' stellar free-throw shooting is also a great compliment to Drummond's lackthereof. If a team wants to do hack-a-Shaq on Drummond, Van Gundy can put Baynes in the game with his 87 percent free-throw shooting and force the opposition into playing the uptempo game the Pistons want to play. If Drummond goes down with an injury at some point this season, Baynes could have standard league value, but as he's expected to be a backup all season, there's no reason to draft him in anything but the deepest of leagues. Baynes underwent a minor ankle procedure this offseason that he's still working his way back from, but the reports seem to point toward him being healthy going into training camp at the end of September.
Aron Baynes completed his first full NBA season in 2013-14 after signing with the Spurs following the end of the Australian professional season in January of 2013. Last season, he averaged 3.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.6 assists, and 0.1 blocks in nine minutes per game through 53 games. He shot 44 percent from the field on 3.1 attempts per game and 91 percent from the line on 0.4 attempts per game. Baynes is currently a restricted free agent, with the Spurs holding rights of first refusal on any offer sheet Baynes receives from another team after they extended him a qualifying offer in June. He has yet to receive an offer and is reportedly weighing his options with teams in Europe, making his future in the NBA unclear. Baynes played for the Spurs' Las Vegas Summer League team, averaging 12.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks in 26 minutes per game through four games. If he decides to re-sign with the Spurs, Baynes will play behind Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter and compete with Jeff Ayres for the remaining minutes at center. For him to get big minutes, something catastrophic would have to happen in San Antonio, so for now, Baynes is only worth a look in the deepest of fantasy leagues.
Although a regular on the Australian national team, at 26, Baynes has yet to clock significant NBA minutes, serving as bench fodder behind Splitter in eight minutes per contest over 16 games during the 2012-2013 campaign. Baynes is fully recovered from a hamstring injury suffered in FIBA tournament action over the summer, but again figures to be buried on the depth chart barring a significant frontcourt injury.