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Report: Celtics’ Aron Baynes exercises $5.9 million player option for 2019-20

Aron Baynes, Celtics

Boston Celtics center Aron Baynes has exercised his $5.9 million player option for the 2019-20 season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. This comes after it was reported earlier Wednesday that Kyrie Irving, as expected, turned down his $21.3 million player option in order to become a free agent.

Baynes has been a crucial part of the Celtics’ big-man rotation for the last two seasons. The big man signed a one-year deal with Boston in 2017 after three seasons with the Detroit Pistons, which was preceded by two seasons with the San Antonio Spurs to start his career. He then re-upped on a two-year, $11 million deal with the Celtics last summer, with the player option for 2019-20.

Baynes dealt with some injuries problems this season after playing 81 games in 2017-18. He appeared in 51 games this season, averaging 5.6 points and 4.7 rebounds in 16.1 minutes per game. He started 18 of the 51 games after earning 67 starts the year prior.

Baynes is a physical presence down low who also brings leadership to the table. He has even expanded his game beyond the 3-point line, knocking down 34.4% of his triples on over an attempt per game after rarely shooting them earlier in his career.

The Celtics will be glad to have Baynes back in the fold, and they currently don’t have plans to trade him:

Boston is still working to acquire Anthony Davis.