When they lost DeMarcus Cousins to a torn ACL last summer, the Los Angeles Lakers became aggressive on the market, finding another big man who could fill the hole he left in their frontcourt. After hosting work out for several free agents, the Lakers ended up bringing back Dwight Howard on their roster. However, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, before they reunited with Howard, the Lakers were keeping an eye on another defensive-minded big man – Aron Baynes of the Phoenix Suns.
As Charania noted, when the Suns acquired Baynes from the Boston Celtics, the Lakers “hoped” that they would buy out his contract and let him become an unrestricted free agent. Unfortunately, though he doesn’t fit the timeline of the face of the franchise, Devin Booker, the Suns chose to keep Baynes on their roster.
“Suns center Aron Baynes has emerged as a cornerstone piece for Phoenix early this season, supplying defense, leadership and, yes, shot-making,” Charania wrote, as quoted by Yahoo Sports.
“Phoenix acquired Baynes on draft night, and in the weeks to come contenders such as the Lakers hoped Baynes would reach a buyout with the Suns to hit the open market, sources said. Suns general manager James Jones and new head coach Monty Williams wanted Baynes — and are now receiving the rewards for the offseason move.”
Baynes would have been an intriguing addition to the Lakers. Though they have athletic centers like Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee on their roster, Baynes would give the Lakers not just a quality rim protector, but also a big man who is capable of knocking down shots from the three-point range. In his first 11 games as a member of the Suns, the 32-year-old center posted impressive numbers, averaging 15.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.9 assists while shooting 57.1 percent from the field and 46.8 percent from beyond the arc.
As of now, there is no doubt that the Suns made the right decision to keep Baynes on their roster. With just a few games, Baynes has proven that he’s capable of taking the role as the Suns’ starting center while DeAndre Ayton is serving a 25-game suspension. However, though the Suns are currently doing well in the 2019-20 NBA season, rumors still continue to swirl around Baynes and his future in Phoenix.
When Ayton returns to the court, there are speculations that the Suns may consider moving Baynes before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. According to a previous The Inquisitr article, one of the potential suitors for Baynes is his former team, the Boston Celtics, who are reportedly searching for a big man who could fill the hole Al Horford left on the defensive end of the floor.