LAS VEGAS – The Boston Celtics have added some much-needed muscle to their frontcourt with the signing of free agent center Aron Baynes to a one-year deal worth $4.3 million.
The terms of the deal were first reported by The Vertical.
Baynes spent the past two seasons with the Detroit Pistons before opting out of the third year of his deal to become a free agent this summer.
The 6-foot-10 center appeared in 75 games (2 starts) last season while averaging 4.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in a limited role.
With the Celtics looking to become a more versatile, position-less basketball team, it’s likely that Baynes will find himself once again in a niche role for the Celtics.
With Amir Johnson signing with the Philadelphia 76ers, Kelly Olynyk inking a deal with the Miami Heat along with Tyler Zeller being waived, the Celtics had to address their frontcourt during this offseason.
Trading away Avery Bradley and a second-round pick to Detroit for Marcus Morris certainly helps Boston’s frontcourt, but they still lacked a true center which at times will be necessary to have depending on the opponent.
Baynes’ primary benefit to Boston will be his interior defense.
Last season, his defensive rating of 98.5 ranked was third among all centers in the NBA. According to NBA.com/stats, opponents shot 4.8 percent lower from the field when he contested their shot.
Baynes’ 10.8 offensive rebounding percentage ranked ninth among centers who logged between 15-20 minutes per game last season.
Baynes joins a big man rotation that now includes Al Horford and Morris along with rookies Ante Zizic, Guerschon Yabusele and Daniel Theis of Germany.