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Report: Aron Baynes declines player option on Pistons contract

Detroit Pistons v Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 13: Aron Baynes #12 of the Detroit Pistons looks on during the game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on October 13, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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Pistons president/coach Stan Van Gundy has talked all year about an expectation Aron Baynes would opt out. Baynes reportedly decided months ago to opt out.

But with so many traditional centers receiving lesser roles in the playoffs, the number of teams already stocked with centers and a long wait into the offseason until Baynes announced his plan, doubt had crept in.

No more wondering on Baynes’ $6.5 million player option.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Pistons will likely let Baynes walk.

They’ll be right around the luxury-tax line after retaining Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Baynes is a luxury they can’t afford.

Their replacement to back up Andre Drummond is already on the roster: Boban Marjanovic, whom they signed last summer when they had cap space as a plan-ahead for Baynes leaving this year. Jon Leuer and Henry Ellenson can also play center, but Detroit seems to prefer them at power forward. So, look for the Pistons to draft a third center at No. 12 (Zach Collins, Jarrett Allen, Bam Adebayo, Justin Patton, Ike Anigbogu or Tony Bradley) or sign someone cheap for the role.