It's been a while since we first heard the Spurs had bought out Aron Baynes' contract, but now that we've seen him talk to the press at a Spurs game there's no doubt he will join the team soon. I only have fleeting memories of Baynes as a Australian national team player in which he seemed like the kind of brute that could help a team with his physicality but was destined to be in constant foul trouble. But that was just my first impression of Aron. I've been researching his game, and I can honestly say that I think he could end up being a solid rotation player sooner rather than later, even if he might experience some hiccups early on. Here's what you need to know about Aron John Baynes.
Everything I've read on Baynes, which I will link to at the bottom of this post, seems to suggest that Aron has a budding jump shot that is still being developed. He's not a serious threat from outside, and like Tiago Splitter and DeJuan Blair, will probably make his living around the basket. This is not a stretch big the Spurs are getting; he's very much a traditional center. As a proponent of the Spurs staying the course with their offensive roles, this move should worry me but it doesn't, as both Splitter and Blair have been able to coexist with Duncan, and the Diaw-Splitter pairing, perfect on paper, hasn't been able to deliver consistent rebounding. That shouldn't be a problem with Baynes; more on that later.
His team's offensive rating took a nose dive when Baynes played, but his individual numbers were solid. According to Gigabasket.com, he had a true shooting percentage of 61.5%, which is stellar in any circumstances, but especially so when considering his high usage of 25.5%. Those numbers would place him alongside this terrific group of NBA players. Of course, the ridiculously small sample size in which he collected those stats, along with the inferior competition in the Slovenian league (and the occasional Euroleague games), serve as a grain of salt, but the stats Baynes had show that he was enjoying a serious amount of offensive success playing for Olimpija Ljubljana.
His teams have utilized motion heavy offenses that rely on pick and rolls, so he hasn't had the opportunity to punish players in the post, but he seems sturdy and athletic enough to do so against weak post defenders and likes to go to his right-handed hook shot. The Spurs won't rely on him for post scoring, which should ease his transition into the NBA, as he's not an accomplished post player yet, regardless of his physical tools. The consensus seems to be that he is a good catch-and-shoot guy with the strength and athleticism to get a shot off under the basket. If that sounds a lot like Splitter and Blair, it's because that's just what he seems to be.
Everything you need to know about Aron Baynes
Pounding The Rock | Jan 24