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Aron Baynes suffers strained groin at FIBA World Cup

Suns, Aron Baynes

Phoenix Suns and Australian national team center Aron Baynes suffered a strained groin at the FIBA World Cup, according to ESPN NBA Insider Brian Windhorst:

Baynes had an excellent campaign for Australia, averaging 11.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists during the competition. However, he was limited to just 13 minutes of action in the third-place game against France and was forced to watch most of the contest from the bench due to injury.

The injury will likely result in Baynes missing the start of camp, and the Suns will have to monitor his progress moving forward.

Phoenix shocked executives around the league when they traded for Baynes and his $5 million salary, though Baynes is on an expiring contract this season. The Suns also doled out $51 million to Ricky Rubio, and most analysts believe that they are throwing money at mid-level players.

However, Baynes was a key contributor with the Boston Celtics. He provided toughness and rebounding inside, and his impact on the team was pretty evident given their record when he was in the rotation. The Celtics were 32-19 with Baynes on the floor and 17-14 when he missed time.

Despite only playing 16 minutes per game, Baynes had a 14.0 PER, and his per-36 line of 12.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks speaks to his quality of play when he gets a decent amount of run.

The Suns could certainly use Baynes’ presence in the middle. While Deandre Ayton thrived offensively, he struggled with foul trouble and defensive footwork in his rookie season. Baynes should give Phoenix a rim protector inside as the Suns take a big step forward defensively.