The Pistons have one of the best group of centers in the NBA, if not the best. Starting with Andre Drummond and ending with Boban Majranovic, the Pistons have solid bigmen. In between those two is Aron Baynes, who has quietly flown under the radar as a stellar backup center since joining the Pistons last season. Barring an unforeseen event in which Aron Baynes accepts his player option that would pay him about $5 million next season, he will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.
Stan Van Gundy spoke with Mike Scotto of Basketball Insiders about the situation with Baynes:
“Aron [Baynes] is a really good player and I said this after the last game, we’re going to be in a difficult situation by the [CBA] rules of trying to re-sign him next summer. “I’m supposed to downplay him, not play him up and tell you, ‘You know, that guy’s a pretty solid backup,’ but the bottom line is he’s a starting-caliber NBA center who we’re very lucky to have as a backup,” Van Gundy said. “If Aron were getting 30 minutes a night I don’t think he’d average 20, but he’d be a very, very solid player offensively in this league and defensively,” Van Gundy added. “He’s just a very, very good basketball player, who we were criticized with, by the way, because we paid him ‘too much money.’ Now he’ll make about triple next summer of what we’re giving him. We won’t be able to re-sign him, but the critics, who always know, killed us for overpaying him. Right now, we could trade him to 29 teams in about five seconds right now at what he’s making. So I don’t think we made too bad a deal.”
What sticks out from what Van Gundy said was the following quote:
“We won’t be able to re-sign him.” Did Stan Van Gundy just admit the Pistons will not try to re-sign Aron Baynes and move on with Boban Marjanovic becoming the backup center?
Van Gundy is a very open coach but for him to be making that statement this early into the season is a bit eye opening.
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