Season Recap/Notes: Aron Baynes.

Follow along with all relevant stats on basketball reference.Any stats that are not readily available there will be linked to or otherwise noted.

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Shot chart

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If you missed Steve Blake. Go over here,if you missed any others just follow the chain.

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The Good:

Aron Baynes is pretty damn near the definition of "Jack of all trades, master of none." (Although by actual measurement he'd probably be more like an 8 or 9 of all trades) Which is a pretty nice thing to have out of your backup center. His best skills however, all had to do with his ability to finish offensively. He is not much of a creator (although he occasionally could bully smaller dudes for that goofy sweeping hook) but he has nice touch around the rim and from the midrange, and he is a big target (if not the best hands, more on that later) making him very capable at finishing looks created by others. When rolling to the rim he is able to regularly make somewhat goofy/difficult finishes (not just dunks) and his jumper was not used all that often, but it was a useful trick to have in the bag. On defense he was generally pretty solid at being in the right place at the right time, and due to him being a behemoth, he is still at least somewhat of a deterrent at the rim even though he can't really jump. This did lead him to be a foul machine, (4.4 fouls per 36. For comparison, Andre's was 3.3 per 36) but that was not a big problem because he didn't play that much anyways. He was pretty generally a rock solid member of the bench mob who played in all but 1 game this season, and often through some pain. And there were a few games where teams would ignore him too much and he really torched them pretty bad. (Remember that Houston Game? lol) Simply put, he is a really well rounded player who is a valuable dude to have coming off the bench.

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The Bad:

First off, I would like to have his hands tested to see if they are not secretly just ears of sweet corn. There were so many times he would go to corral a rebound or a pass only to have it bounce off of his hands and right to the other team. It was legitimately frustrating all season long and it definitely made him a less effective rebounder. The other main issue was just his defense in general. It was not horrible, but it was a bit disappointing to me this season. As previously mentioned, his best defensive ability is being in the right place at the right time, but so often it simply ended with him fouling someone that it was not a big help. And he got regularly torched by good offensive centers, whether a really good backup like Nene, Kyle O'Quinn, etc. Or a starter who is left in with the bench like Jahlil Okafor or Greg Monroe. (Although Monroe may have actually been coming off the bench for one of the games.) He just does not have the goods to really cause those guys much trouble at all. He is not a terrible defender by any stretch, but he is certainly not much good, and that is pretty frustrating. (This came to a head when he was a total liability on the floor against the Cavs.) And the reason it is frustrating is because even SVG admitted that they splurged a little bit with Baynes 6.5 million per year contract. (Said it on a podcast with Zach Lowe before the season) And the reason you splurge a little for a backup is so that he can credibly play with the starters/be a real focal point for the bench. But even though Baynes is a good bench player, he was never a focal point, and he was generally shown to not be near good enough to hang with opposing players who are actually quite good. (Re-reading this, and I am coming off harder on him than intended, he is a solid player, it's more the contract I'm kind of bummed about at the end there.)

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Biggest Answer?

He is in fact a solid bench cog. His last year with the Spurs was the first time he got any real playing time there, and he would not be the first guy that a really good team made look better than he was. But he played (largely) the same role for the Pistons as he did in his last year with the Spurs and he did just fine. It was obviously not a huge concern, but him turning out to not actually be all that good and just looked ok with the Spurs was really the only credible concern about him.

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Biggest Question?

How does he/his contract fit over the next couple of seasons? We will find out this offseason if Baynes' contract is a gross overpay or not (he was given that contract with the coming salary cap in mind, so lets see what other backup centers make.) but combine his potentially being overpaid with that SVG has said that he would love to find a big who can play both PF and center, (and remember, he actually traded for one) and Baynes could potentially be an odd man out. He is paid too much and (probably) too good to just let rot on the very end of the bench if the Pistons got another guy who takes over backup center duties. I don't know what sort of value he would have as a trade chip or not, but I would guess the Pistons could get at least something for him. Regardless, Baynes is at a point in his career where I would not expect any big jump or fall in his game, and he is not really part of the core of the team. So the question is whether or not he will be in Detroit for his whole contract or not.

NINJA EDIT THAT I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT BIGGEST QUESTION

What will he do with a competent PG? As stated earlier, Baynes is a very good finisher of plays, but he does need someone who can create the initial play. When he played with Jennings he looked much better on offense. So it is possible that this coming season with a (hopefully) much improved PG to feed him shots he might look much more worth the contract.

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What do you think? What was the best thing you saw from Baynes this season? What about the worst? Let me know! We all get smarter!