Aussie Big Man Aron Baynes Open To Signing With Euro Squad

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By Justin Noel Cudaihl | August 26, 2014 4:31 AM EST

Aron Baynes main option is to extend his stay with NBA champion team San Antonio Spurs but he’s not closing on doors on the possibility that the Australian will eventually sign with a European squad in the 2014 offseason.

Baynes, who is currently in Spain to help the Australian basketball national team battle in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, did not see major minutes for the Spurs in the 2013-2014 NBA season although he is part of the champion squad that defeated the Miami Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals.

Baynes has a bigger role with the national squad ahead of big men like David Andersen, Nathan Jawai and Brock Motum in head coach Andrej Lemanis’ rotation.

Baynes have been extended the qualifying offer of US $1.12 million (AU $1.19 million) by the Spurs but can get a slight increase, and perhaps a multi-year deal, if he transfers to Europe. The Aussie is reportedly demanding an annual salary of $1.5 million Euros or roughly AU$ 2.13 million.

While the Spurs are an attractive destination considering they are a NBA title contending team, Baynes will most likely get a better deal in Europe both financially and basketball-wise. At San Antonio, he plays behind veteran star Tim Duncan and other established players like Tiago Splitter and Boris Diaw in Gregg Popovich’s rotation.

The 27-year-old Baynes is from Gisborne, New Zealand but has represented the Australia basketball NT since 2010. Baynes has already played in Europe before playing with Lietovos Rytas (Lithuania) in 2009-2010; EWE Baskets Oldenburg (Germany) in 2010-2011; Ikaros Kallitheas (Greece) in 2011-2012; Union Olmpija (Slovenia) in 2012-2013 before joining the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013-2014 season.

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