A very strong showing for Aron Baynes in the Basketball World Cup is generating a lot of interest in the Australian big man, who is looking for a big contract in Europe but might also eventually end up going through a sign-and-trad with the San Antonio Spurs that lands him with the Charlotte Hornets.
Baynes averaged 16.8 points per game for Australia in the tournament, helping them reach the round of 16 before being knocked out by Turkey. He also averaged 7 rebounds per game in what was a great way for the 27-year old to show that he’s more than just a garbage time player for the NBA champions, averaging just 7.2 minutes a night through 14 playoff games, helping out with 2.3 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
The Spurs already have a full roster, although are considering keeping Baynes, who is a restricted free agent and wasn’t getting any offers from anyone. However, now that he has shown a bit more to his ability than just filling in for some minutes while everyone is on the bench, Baynes is hoping that he’ll either see more interest from an NBA team, or get a bigger contract playing for someone in Europe.
The Charlotte Hornets are looking to add a big man to their bench, and Baynes should fit the role, especially on a minimum deal. No one is going to give him anything more than that.
The Spurs are going to try and make this about getting a draft pick from the Hornets or whoever else might be interested in Baynes, who was born in New Zealand but has playing basketball in the United States since 2005.
He played four years for Washington State and didn’t get drafted. He played in Europe for teams in Greece, Slovenia, Germany and Lithuania before getting signed by the Spurs on January 2013. During his rookie year he spent some time playing for the Toros in the D-League, but last season got to play 53 regular season games for San Antonio, even starting in four of them.