Baynes, who has a $5.5 million player option for the 2019-20 season, addressed the possibility of exploring free agency this summer during a community event at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center. It's clear the big man wants to stay put, but wishes to talk things over with Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens before making any decisions.
“I haven’t really thought too much about that,” Baynes said. “I know my heart’s still here in Boston. I love Boston. It’s been great to my family. There’s no better place to play than TD Garden during the playoffs or when you’re in the middle of a comeback. So if I’m thinking of that, I know where I want to be. But at the same time I’ve got to talk with Danny, I’ve got to talk to Brad and see what their thoughts are as well. I want to be in the right situation.”
Baynes, 32, has been a valuable commodity for the Celtics but was plagued by injuries throughout the 2018-19 campaign. The C's disappointing finish plus Baynes' inability to stay on the floor may mean he has some unfinished business in Boston.
“There’s only one thing you can look to achieve when you come to Boston,” Baynes said. “With the legacy they have here, you want to add to that legacy."
Between Baynes, Kyrie Irving's impending free agency, and the potential pursuit of Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis, the Celtics have a busy offseason ahead.
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The NBA's "stretch run" officially begins later this week. But not all playoff pushes are created equal.
With 28 games ahead of the Boston Celtics after the All-Star break, now is as good a time as ever to look at "strength of schedule:" the combined record of remaining opponents for all 30 NBA teams.
Here are the full "strength of schedule" rankings for the home stretch, beginning with the New Orleans Pelicans, who have the league's easiest schedule with a combined opponent win percentage of just 44.9:
NBA strength of schedule for the remainder of the season (easiest to hardest).
The Pelicans should be able to push for a playoff spot while the 76ers could improve their spot in the East if they can figure out how to win on the road (25-2 at home, 9-19 on the road). pic.twitter.com/npje4exQJN
1. The Celtics face the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz as part of a tough-four game road trip out of the break. They're still tied with the Toronto Raptors for the league's 11th-easiest remaining schedule, though. The Raptors are 2.5 games ahead of the C's for the all-important No. 2 seed (more on why that matters here), so this race could come down to the wire.
2. The two teams below Boston in the East standings -- the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers -- have cupcake remaining schedules. Only the Pelicans have an easier road ahead than Philly (which already completed its season series with Boston) while Miami has the league's fifth-easiest remaining schedule. Both teams are in striking distance of the Celtics and very easily could catch the C's if they stumble.
3. Here's the one silver lining for Boston, which owns the Grizzlies' 2020 first-round pick (top-six protected): Memphis faces the NBA's toughest schedule down the stretch. The Grizzlies own the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference right now, but if the Portland Trail Blazers (sixth-easiest schedule) can catch them, the Celtics could salvage a lottery selection out of the Memphis pick.
Well, Perkins had to think about Irving during Monday's episode of ESPN's "The Jump," where host Rachel Nichols asked Perk for his reaction to Irving joining the NBA Players Association as its new Vice President.