Report: Aron Baynes declines player option on Pistons contract

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Pistons president/coach Stan Van Gundy has talked all year about an expectation Aron Baynes would opt out. Baynes reportedly decided months ago to opt out.

But with so many traditional centers receiving lesser roles in the playoffs, the number of teams already stocked with centers and a long wait into the offseason until Baynes announced his plan, doubt had crept in.

No more wondering on Baynes’ $6.5 million player option.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Pistons will likely let Baynes walk.

They’ll be right around the luxury-tax line after retaining Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Baynes is a luxury they can’t afford.

Their replacement to back up Andre Drummond is already on the roster: Boban Marjanovic, whom they signed last summer when they had cap space as a plan-ahead for Baynes leaving this year. Jon Leuer and Henry Ellenson can also play center, but Detroit seems to prefer them at power forward. So, look for the Pistons to draft a third center at No. 12 (Zach Collins, Jarrett Allen, Bam Adebayo, Justin Patton, Ike Anigbogu or Tony Bradley) or sign someone cheap for the role.