Say G’day to Aron Baynes, Boston’s Recent Aussie Acquisition

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 12: Aron Baynes
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 12: Aron Baynes /

The Boston Celtics reached an agreement with Aron Baynes on Sunday, acquiring the center on a one-year deal worth approximately $4.3 million, per Shams Charania.

Baynes, a 30-year-old Australian national, is listed at just under seven feet and weighs in at about 260 pounds. He’s played in the NBA for five seasons now, his first three with the San Antonio Spurs and the remaining two with the Detroit Pistons. While he’s never put up astounding numbers, about five points and four rebounds in 14 minutes per game, he’s been more than serviceable as a backup center.

And even though Baynes could’ve made $6.5 million as a member of the Pistons, the opportunity to play a more significant role on a potential title contender proved more enticing than subsisting in Andre Drummond’s hefty shadow.

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By making this deal with the Celtics, Baynes effectively gets a chance to show off his basketball chops, in turn bolstering his value just in time for free agency next summer. For Aron Baynes, this deal constitutes an investment.

But, what does this deal mean for the Celtics? What exactly does the Big Banger bring to Beantown?

Discernible Toughness

There’s a reason his nickname is the Big Banger, and it’s not just because he looks as though he’s been transplanted from the set of Mad Max: Fury Road onto a basketball court.

AUBURN HILLS, MI – JANUARY 18: Aron Baynes /

Baynes is a bruiser, plain and simple.

He works hard and plays with a feverish intensity, eminent in how he’s constantly jostling for position, setting hard screens, and crashing the boards. Combine his size with his readiness to play physically and he becomes a taxing challenge for any opposing center.

He also plays the game with an almost unparalleled mental toughness, which lends to his consistent play. Baynes is seldom flashy, but he’s reliable. For Brad Stevens and the Celtics, this dependable veteran presence is a definite plus, especially when it manifests in the rebound column.

Dogged Rebounding

As pretty much every Celtics fan knows, the team has lacked a legitimate big who can rebound the ball.

This past season, Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Zeller led the team in overall rebound percentage, each gathering about 13 percent of all possible missed shots. Both players left this offseason.

Interestingly, Aron Baynes posted his lowest total rebound percentage since his rookie season, yet it still easily surpassed the numbers that Olynyk and Zeller put up. In roughly 15 minutes per game, Baynes grabbed around 16 percent of all possible missed shots.

It’s not a stretch to think that playing significant minutes on a weak rebounding roster will markedly inflate Baynes’s rebounding numbers, perhaps even more than the 10 boards that his current extrapolated stats suggest.

Feathery Soft Shooter’s Touch

Ironically, given his brazen demeanor and physical style of play, Baynes actually possesses a really soft touch on shots near the basket or from the midrange area. He’s definitely not automatic, but he can still quietly put the ball through the hoop night in and night out.

Baynes can’t create his own looks, but he’s pretty good when rolling to the basket or popping out to the elbow area for a midrange jump shot. He actually shot over 50 percent on attempts from within the three-point line this past season.

Baynes hasn’t made an effort to extend his range beyond the three-point line yet. But, if his ability to convert from the charity stripe at an 84 percent clip is any indicator of shooting ability, it seems probable that he’ll be hoisting triples before long. Funnily enough, Baynes’s only career three-pointer actually came against the Celtics at the Boston Garden… let’s pretend it wasn’t a fluke.

That being said, with more minutes, and surrounded by a decisively capable offensive roster featuring Isaiah Thomas and Gordon Hayward, Baynes should mesh well and up his offensive production via rim runs and putbacks.

The Beantown Banger

Baynes has a skill set that fits perfectly with that the Celtics need before going into next season. He’s big and physical, using this to his advantage on defense and in grabbing rebounds. Aside from filling these team needs, Baynes comes with the added bonus of not being an offensive liability.

Next: Celtics Starting Lineup Options

The addition of the Beantown Banger (formerly Big Banger) promises an increasingly formidable front court, and an increasingly formidable Celtics team. Don’t be surprised if Baynes outperforms expectations and quickly becomes a fan favorite.