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Report: Celtics expected to re-sign Aron Baynes

Aron Baynes, George Hill

Boston Celtics center Aron Baynes, right, reaches for a loose ball in front of Cleveland Cavaliers guard George Hill during the second half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Sunday, May 27, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)


Aron Baynes got dunked on a lot last season.

He also gave the Celtics a solid starting center, allowing Al Horford to spend time at power forward.

Baynes will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. What’s next for him?

A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston:

according to multiple league sources, Baynes is expected to return to Boston next season.

The Celtics can give Baynes a starting salary of $5,193,600 through his Non-Bird Rights (a form of Bird Rights). Anything higher would require dipping into the mid-level exception, and Boston might not be able to stick under the hard cap triggered by using the non-taxpayer mid-level exception.

The Non-Bird Exception ought to be enough, though. It’ll be a tight market, especially for centers.

First-round pick Robert Williams gives the Celtics a higher-upside option. Daniel Theis is also younger.

But Baynes, 31, is best-positioned to help win-now-and-later Boston in the present. He’s too big and slow for every matchup, but that’s when Horford shifts to center.