Aussie Baynes signs with Boston Celtics

 

Boomers centre Aron Baynes has agreed to join the Boston Celtics to jump back into the NBA championship race.

The 30-year-old opted out of his US$6.5 million contract with the Detroit Pistons and will sign a US$4.3m deal with the Celtics.

Baynes would have hoped to sign a multi-year deal worth tens of millions of dollars when he entered free agency last month but will instead play out the season unsure of his long-term future.

Fox Sports reported the New Zealand-born big man was also offered short-term contracts by the Pistons, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers.



Boston loom as a championship contender for the upcoming 2017-18 season after adding star wing Gordon Hayward to a team that finished as the No.1 seed in the Eastern Conference in 2016-17.

A bench player for the first five years of his NBA career, Baynes could start for the Celtics alongside All-Stars Al Horford, Isaiah Thomas and Hayward.

Baynes spent the last two years in Detroit after beginning his NBA career at the San Antonio Spurs, where he won the title in 2014.

Aron Baynes. Pic: Getty

He recorded averages of 4.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 15.5 minutes per game last season.

Baynes is the latest Australian to leave the free-agent market after Joe Ingles and Patty Mills re-signed with the Utah Jazz and Spurs respectively.

Late bloomer Ingles cashed in with a four-year, US$52m contract and Mills stuck with San Antonio on a four-year, US$50m deal.

Former No.1 draft pick Andrew Bogut remains unsigned and will likely sort out his future before the end of the month, with the Rockets a potential landing spot for the 2015 NBA champion.

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