After winning the 2014 NBA title, the Spurs entered the offseason with seven players whose 2014-15 contract weren’t totally set. San Antonio has taken care of six of them:
- Tim Duncan opted in
- Tony Parker signed extension
- Boris Diaw re-signed
- Matt Bonner re-signed
- Patty Mills re-signed
- Austin Daye kept past guarantee date
That leaves just Aron Baynes unaccounted for.
The Spurs extended Baynes a $1,115,243 qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. That one-year contract offer will remain available until Oct. 1.
So, Baynes can always take that and get his guaranteed salary. But there’s no guarantee the Spurs, who already have 16 players with at least partially guaranteed contracts and aren’t finished searching for additions, keep Baynes on the roster. Once the season begins, San Antonio can have just 15 players, so eating Baynes’ salary might be the best move if he accepts the qualifying offer.
Or Baynes could help the Spurs out of their pickle.
Baynes wants to stay in San Antonio but he’s also seeking an overseas deal that pays at least 1.5 million Euro, according to Ismail Senol of NTV SPOR Turkey (hat tip: RealGM). That’s the equivalent of $1,978,650, so Baynes is looking for a bigger raise – and more playing time.
I expect this to all sort itself out by Oct. 1, when the Spurs can pull their qualifying offer. If they do, Baynes would remain a restricted free agent, just without the standing contract offer. Even if he doesn’t sign in the NBA this season, San Antonio could keep him a restricted free agent in perpetuity by extending a qualifying offer each summer.
Most likely, Baynes will either find an agreeable foreign offer soon or accept the Spurs’ qualifying offer. It the latter happens, I think the slightly more likely scenario, San Antonio could face some tough cuts during the preseason.