Aron Baynes is in his final season of his contract with the Pistons. Here is why they will do everything that they can to re-sign him in the off-season.
At the end of last season the Detroit Pistons looked ready to move on from Aron Baynes. They went and signed Boban Marjanovic on a three year deal so that when Baynes moved to his next team, they would have a viable back-up to one of the most dominant centers in this generation, Andre Drummond.
There is only one small problem with this scenario. Aron Baynes. Baynes has played so well this season that he has kept Marjanovic on the bench for all but 46 minutes of the season and does not appear to be letting Majanovic onto the court any time soon.
It is not as though Baynes is doing anything special on the stats sheet to keep him off it, with a few exceptions of course. His 4.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game do not tell the story as it needs to.
Baynes is collecting greater than 21 percent of all defensive rebounds available when he is on the floor. Nine other guys on the floor are sharing 79 percent of all defensive rebounds when Baynes is on the floor. This shows an intensity for rebounds mirrored by few in the NBA. In actual fact he is just a little bit outside the top ten this season
His offensive rebounding share is 7.1 percent but if you watch the games, Baynes tips a heap of balls out to his own players to keep the offense alive. He does not get credited with these numbers though.
Baynes, however is one of the big reasons that Detroit have one of the better defenses in the NBA. The defense starts with Andre Drummond, of that there is no question. His 92.9 defensive rating is the best in the NBA, this is total points allowed per 100 possessions. Second in the NBA is Giannis Antetokounmpo with 97.3 which is a massive gap. Baynes comes in at 14th in the entire NBA with 100.6 points allowed per 100 possessions. There is very little defensive let up when the Pistons replace Drummond with Baynes.
The other way that Baynes help the Pistons late in games. As anyone who follows the NBA closely is aware, the NBA changed the rules last season. If you foul a player in the last two minutes they have to be involved in the play or they take shots and they get the ball back. Prior to the last two minutes, however, you can foul a player not involved in the play and they shoot free throws.
When you have Andre Drummond on the court before the last two minutes of a quarter, he will usually miss both free throws or split them, meaning that Detroit get no points or one point and the other team have the chance for two or three points.
If Baynes is on the floor then other teams can’t just foul him and stay in the game like they do Drummond. The difference? Baynes is a career 80 percent free throw shooter compared to Drummond being a career 38 percent free throw shooter. This takes away one of the methods that teams can get back into games.
As Baynes was 30 at the start of the season, he will be in line for one last decent contract and I believe that if head coach Stan Van Gundy has his way, it will be with the Pistons.