The Spurs, with Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green locked up, appear to be going all-in for LaMarcus Aldridge.
They traded Tiago Splitter to the Hawks, clearing cap room. They need to keep that open for Aldridge and likely Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.
So, if you want Aron Baynes, this is the time to strike.
Apparently, the Pistons really wanted Baynes.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Brandan Wright’s deal with the Grizzlies is probably worth about $17 over three years. So, we’re obviously dealing with imprecise figures here.
But no matter how you slice it, that’s a lot for Baynes.
Baynes is coming off a career year, averaging 6.6 points and 4.5 rebounds in 16.0 minutes per game. He can make mid-range jumpers, and he rebounds well. He’ll be a solid backup center to Andre Drummond.
But Baynes is already 28 and not very athletic. It’s hard to see much upside. Plus, he probably benefited from the Spurs’ system in ways he won’t in Detroit.
This is an overpay – not a crippling one, but an overpay nonetheless.
The tallest NBA player under contract for next season is the 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert.
The Hawks are going to do one better.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
Atlanta drafted Tavares last year, and he spent last season in Spain. I wouldn’t count on much from him immediately, but he’s a nice developmental piece.
Tiago Splitter, acquired in a trade with the Spurs, is the Hawks’ most immediately significant center acquisition of the offseason.
As LaMarcus Aldridge continues his free agency tour, he’s already ruled out the team that had the first crack at wooing him. The Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan reports that Aldridge didn’t click with Kobe Bryant during their midnight meeting, and he was unimpressed with the on-court potential of the Lakers’ roster.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski adds that the Lakers’ pitch went a little heavy on off-the-court opportunities for Aldridge’s liking:
It’s hard to blame Aldridge if these are his priorities. Portland can offer him more money than anybody else, so the entire reason he would leave in the first place is to go to a team that has a better shot at contending. The Lakers are, well, not that. Not now, anyway. Aldridge has also never been the kind of guy who courts the spotlight or has seemed attracted to a big market for a big market’s sake, so a pitch centered around that aspect of the Lakers wouldn’t be that effective with him. Multiple reports say he’s still going to take the rest of his scheduled meetings before deciding, but the smart money is on San Antonio at this point. They have the money after trading Tiago Splitter, and he will not find a better basketball situation anywhere.