It appears the Boston Celtics won’t have to completely overhaul their frontcourt this summer.
Celtics big man Aron Baynes will exercise his player option for the 2019-20 season, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Wednesday, citing league sources. Baynes is set to earn $5.9 million next season.
When healthy, the 32-year-old was a vital defensive piece for the Celtics last season. Baynes played in 51 games (18 starts) and pulled down 4.7 rebounds per contest while adding 34 blocks.
This summer has the potential to be one of drastic change for the Celtics, who underachieved this past season before bowing out in the second round of the NBA playoffs. Getting Baynes back is a nice start, but fellow big man Al Horford also has a player option of his own, and his decision is shaping up to be a vital one. Of course, Boston also could decide to further explore a trade for New Orleans Pelicans star forward Anthony Davis, a move that would certainly shake up the core.
In addition to the Baynes news Wednesday, Celtics guard Kyrie Irving reportedly made it official and won’t opt in to his contract for the 2019-20 season. He technically could still return, but he’s reportedly smitten with the New York teams and a return to Boston seems unlikely at this point.