Former Celtics Big Man Announces Return to Pro Basketball

Aron Baynes, Jaylen Brown

Getty Jaylen Brown #7 reacts with Aron Baynes #46 of the Boston Celtics.

Former Boston Celtics big man Aron Baynes has had quite the journey over the past year or so. Ever since he bruised his spinal cord during the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, which left him paralyzed, he’s worked his way up to return to professional basketball. While he may not be returning to the NBA at the moment, Baynes announced his return to play for the Brisbane Bullets in the National Basketball League in Australia on his personal Twitter account.

Baynes held a workout for NBA teams during the 2022 NBA Las Vegas Summer League but ultimately found no takers. He may not play for another NBA team, but given how tough his road to recovery was since his spinal cord injury, it’s downright miraculous that he’s physically capable of playing professional basketball again.

Even though no team took a flyer on Baynes following his workout in Las Vegas, this does not mean that returning to the NBA is out of the question for Baynes.

Baynes’ Contract Has an NBA Opt-Out

When Brian Windhorst reported that Baynes had signed on to play for the Bullets, he included that Baynes’ contract with the Bullets includes an opt-out that would allow him to return to the NBA if a team wanted him. Windhorst included that returning to the NBA is Baynes’ ultimate goal.

Baynes could potentially come back to the NBA if a team deals with extensive injuries in their frontcourt or if Baynes impresses enough in the NBL to warrant a contract offer.

Baynes originally came into the NBA as an undrafted free agent. Baynes signed with the San Antonio Spurs during the 2012-13 season and later won a championship with the team in 2014. His play in the NBA warranted multi-year contracts with the Detroit Pistons and the Celtics during the 2010s.

Baynes had worked his way up to get to where he was in the NBA before his unfortunate spinal cord injury. By having an NBA opt-out clause with the Bullets, he clearly believes he can do it again. Even though Baynes’ goal is to make it back to the NBA, it appears for the time being that the Celtics are not one of his interested suitors

Celtics Not Interested in Reunion With Baynes

When Baynes held his workout in Las Vegas, Adam Himmelsbach reported that the Celtics checked in on Baynes but had no intention to sign him.

Although the Celtics are not interested in a reunion with Baynes for the time being, several Celtics currently on the team who played with the Australian center in Boston from 2017 to 2019 have shown their support for him during his comeback attempt.

When Baynes held his workout in Las Vegas, he posted a picture of his workout with a caption stating that he was back doing what he loved.

Baynes’ tweet was liked by Jaylen Brown and Al Horford, signifying their support for Baynes.

The Celtics traded Baynes to the Phoenix Suns during the 2019 NBA Offseason and have had multiple chances to bring him back to the team but have passed every time.

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