Aron Baynes, Raptors Reportedly Agree to 2-Year, $14.3M Contract in Free Agency

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2020

Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes grabs a rebound against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 6, 2020, in Phoenix. The Suns defeated the Trail Blazers 127-117. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Free-agent center Aron Baynes agreed to a deal with the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

The veteran will reportedly make $14.3 million over the two years of the contract. Charania noted Toronto holds a team option on the second year of the deal.

Baynes was limited by hip and calf injuries last season, holding him to just 42 games in his first year with the Phoenix Suns.

The 33-year-old was a difference-maker when on the court with averages of 11.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in 22.2 minutes per game, all of which were career highs.

The eight-year veteran was known as a serviceable big man during his first seven seasons in the NBA, mostly playing limited minutes with the Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs. He usually took advantage of his opportunities either as a starter or off the bench, averaging at least 11 points and 10 rebounds per 36 minutes in six straight seasons from 2013-14 to 2018-19.

There was a bigger opportunity for playing time after an offseason trade to Phoenix, especially with center DeAndre Ayton suspended for 25 games because of a failed drug test.

Baynes quickly became the team's most reliable option at center and produced quality numbers over the first few months of the season.

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This production adds to a resume that also includes a lot of postseason experience with playoff appearances in six of his first eight years in the NBA. The big man was on the 2014 Spurs title team and appeared in 28 playoff games for Boston across two seasons in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

It was enough for the New Zealand native to earn a new contract even coming off an injury-filled season.

The move should help upgrade the frontcourt rotation for the Raptors, adding a proven big man who can play big minutes next season. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, Baynes should be a valuable contributor in 2020-21 and potentially beyond.