However, another player in a contract season may not return to the Pistons.
“Aron [Baynes] is a really good player and I said this after the last game, we’re going to be in a difficult situation by the [CBA] rules of trying to re-sign him next summer,” Van Gundy said. “I’m supposed to downplay him, not play him up and tell you, ‘You know, that guy’s a pretty solid backup,’ but the bottom line is he’s a starting-caliber NBA center who we’re very lucky to have as a backup.”
What could Baynes do if he was a starting center on another team?
“If Aron were getting 30 minutes a night I don’t think he’d average 20, but he’d be a very, very solid player offensively in this league and defensively,” Van Gundy added. “He’s just a very, very good basketball player, who we were criticized with, by the way, because we paid him ‘too much money.’ Now he’ll make about triple next summer of what we’re giving him. We won’t be able to re-sign him, but the critics, who always know, killed us for overpaying him. Right now, we could trade him to 29 teams in about five seconds right now at what he’s making. So I don’t think we made too bad a deal.”
Jimmy Butler (Knee) Sits Out T-Wolves Win Over Raptors
Jimmy Butler sat out Minnesota’s 115-109 victory Saturday night against Toronto with a sore right knee.
Butler is averaging 21.7 points per game for the revamped Timberwolves, who entered with the fourth-best record in the Western Conference. Minnesota had lost two straight before hosting the Raptors. Nemanja Bjelica started in Butler’s place.
Celtics’ Kyrie Irving Set to Return From Shoulder Injury
Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving went through the team’s entire off-day practice Saturday and expects to return to game action Sunday against the Orlando Magic after missing one game due to a sore shoulder.
Irving sat out Thursday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers after undergoing tests on a shoulder that had been bothering him recently. An MRI revealed no structural damage, but Irving will continue getting treatment even as he returns to game action.
Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN
LeBron After Loss to OKC: We Can Get Bounced Early in Playoffs
Following one of the most inept defensive performances in Cavaliers history, LeBron James said his team looked primed for a short postseason appearance, barring any changes.
The Cavs fell 148-124 to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, tying a franchise record for most points allowed in regulation. They are 3-9 since Christmas Day. “Playoffs? We can’t even start thinking about that, not the way we’re playing right now,” James said. “We could easily get bounced early in the playoffs if they started next weekend. Haven’t even began thinking about the postseason.”
Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN