Aron Baynes is staying with the Boston Celtics ... or so we thought.
The Celtics are making the veteran center available via trade in an effort to clear cap space, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday morning.
Boston has offered center Aron Baynes -- $5.4M expiring contract -- into salary cap space elsewhere, league sources tell ESPN. Without Kyrie Irving and Al Horford on the books, moving Baynes without taking back salary could get the Celtics to $23M in space.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 20, 2019
Baynes exercised the $5.4 million player option on his 2019-20 contract with the Celtics just eight days ago. But much has changed since then, with Kyrie Irving and Al Horford now expected to sign elsewhere in free agency.
Those developments could mean a change of course for the Celtics, who now seem keen on freeing up cap space to pursue other top-tier talent, and Baynes, who wants to play with a contender one way or the other at age 32.
Aron Baynes opted in with the Celtics under the idea that they would be a contender. With it looking like things are heading the other way, Boston will work on finding Baynes a role with a contending team, while opening up cap space for themselves.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) June 20, 2019
If the C's trade Baynes and Horford and Marcus Morris (an unrestricted free agent) both walk, it would leave Boston with essentially no frontcourt depth outside rookie Robert Williams and would signal further change on a club that may look a lot different later this summer.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.