Celtics

The impact of Aron Baynes' return to Boston

The impact of Aron Baynes' return to Boston

BOSTON -- Just like Kyrie Irving not opting into the final year of his current contract came as a surprise to no one, the same can be said for Aron Baynes opting into the final year of his deal with the Boston Celtics that’ll pay $5.45 million next season. 

At no point in his time since being a Celtic has Baynes given any indication that he wanted to be anywhere but here. 

And his decision to opt-in to the final year cements that reality. 

But really, what does having Baynes, 32, back in the fold next season really mean for the Celtics?

We can talk all day long about what he brings to the floor defensively because he does have a significant impact for Boston at that end of the floor. 

But more than his defense, the return of Baynes provides a level of stability in what is shaping up to be a tumultuous offseason where the waves of change are expected to come crashing in like we haven’t seen in years with this franchise. 

It's unclear if Irving will re-sign with Boston or sign with another team. Al Horford has a player option and can hit the free agent market and potentially sign elsewhere. 

Boston is trying to work out a deal to trade for New Orleans' Anthony Davis, a deal that will surely cost them at least one of their youngsters - Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and/or Marcus Smart.

That means the Celtics will likely add at least one youngster to the mix. 

Having Baynes back, a player who has shown the ability to impact games, both as a starter and coming off the bench, can help set the kind of example the Celtics will want from its older, more seasoned players. 

And a big part of Baynes’ success and ability to lead, hinges heavily on the Teflon-tough faith he has in Brad Stevens’ coaching. 

It is the kind of loyalty you seldom see from a role player whose role has fluctuated the way Baynes has in his time in Boston.

But the way this past season ended, Boston was in no position to just assume Baynes would return.

And Baynes said as much recently when discussing his future in Boston. 

“I love Boston,” Baynes said. “It’s been great for my family. 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.”

The return of Baynes can only help Boston in its efforts to get a new deal done with Horford who can also opt-out of his current deal which is set to pay him $30.1 million this season. 

Danny Ainge, the Celtics president of basketball operations, said recently that getting a new, longer-term deal done with Horford is an offseason priority for the Celtics. 

Knowing that Baynes will be back in the fold, provides Horford with a familiar presence who he knows well and trusts both on the floor and inside the locker room as the Celtics look to rebuild their roster for another run at Banner 18. 

 

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Report: Celtics 'quickly' shot down trade offer for Gordon Hayward

Report: Celtics 'quickly' shot down trade offer for Gordon Hayward

As Gordon Hayward struggled to return to form last season following his catastrophic ankle injury, some wondered whether the Celtics could look to move him and dump salary.

Hayward was supposed to star alongside Kyrie Irving after the C's signed him to a max contract in 2017, but obviously, things didn't go as planned. Irving apparently mulled his exit from Boston in December of last year and when it became evident he was on his way out, teams checked in about Hayward's potential availability in a deal.

But even amid what was a letdown season for Hayward and the C's, Boston was unwilling to part ways with the 29-year-old, according to one opposing NBA executive.

“After it was clear Kyrie [Irving] was leaving, I told our owner that we could maybe grab Hayward for nothing if Boston tore it down," the executive told Keith Smith of SB Nation's Celtics Blog. "He’s owed a lot of money, but only a couple of years left. We made a call, but it got shut down quickly. I think Danny [Ainge] and Brad [Stevens] know what they have in Hayward for this year and going forward. He’s going to be really good again.”

It's clear the Celtics weren't discouraged by Irving's departure and the chemistry issues that lingered throughout the 2018-19 campaign. Smith included quotes from other opposing NBA executives, who called the C's asking price for Jayson Tatum "insane" and said Boston shot down an offer for Jaylen Brown as well. President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge obviously believes in the core he put in place and has Hayward, Tatum, and Brown each at the center of the plan going forward.

With the rocky season behind them, the Celtics will have Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter in addition to that core as they look to add some much-needed positivity to the equation.

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Zion Williamson joins Jayson Tatum among latest Jordan brand signings for Nike

Zion Williamson joins Jayson Tatum among latest Jordan brand signings for Nike

Nike's Air Jordan brand has enjoyed a successful summer adding NBA stars to its roster.

Zion Williamson, the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans, has officially joined Jordan brand, the company announced Tuesday.

“I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the Jordan Brand family,” Williamson said in a Nike statement. “Since I was a kid, I dreamed of making it to the league and having the type of impact on the game Michael Jordan had and continues to have today. He was one of those special athletes I looked up to, and I really can’t express how happy and excited I am for this journey.”

The list of talented basketball players who recently have become Jordan Brand athletes is quite impressive, and it includes Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. Boston's 21-year-old star signed a deal with the company in June.

Tatum isn't the only Celtics player on Jordan Brand's roster.

Newly signed point guard Kemba Walker also is one of the brand's top stars. Tatum even tried to recruit Walker to sign with the Celtics in NBA free agency during a Jordan event in Paris last month.

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