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San Antonio Spurs Should Re-Sign Aron Baynes

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The San Antonio Spurs still have one open roster spot as they head into training camp which begins a week from now, September 27th.

Aron Baynes is one of the candidates that the Spurs could use to fill that final roster spot.

The San Antonio Spurs currently posses the rights to Aron Baynes, a restricted free agent, which means the Spurs can match any NBA offer for the Australian big man or the Spurs can sign him to the qualifying offer they extended to make Baynes a restricted free agent.

The San Antonio Spurs should re-sign Aron Baynes, plain and simple and here’s why

Aron Baynes Had a Breakout at the 2014 FIBA World Cup

Aron Baynes played some of his best basketball over the summer at the 2014 FIBA World Cup for his home nation Australia.

During Australia’s run in the 2014 FIBA World Cup which included a trip to the first round of the knockout stage, Baynes led his home nation in points and rebounds per game with averages of 16.8 and 7, respectively.

To get an idea of how big that breakout was, the highest averages in points and rebounds that Aron Baynes had previous to this international tournament were 7.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in the 2011 FIBA Oceania Championship.

Even in the 2012 Olympics, a similar level of competition as the 2014 FIBA World Cup, Baynes only averaged 7.5 points and 3.3 rebounds.

What is even more interesting is when you take a look at the 6-foot-10 center’s points average in perspective of the rest of the 2014 FIBA World Cup points leaders.

On that list of leaders in points per game, eight players, including Baynes are NBA players. Some of the players on that list are very well-known such as Pau Gasol, Luis Scola, and J.J. Barea. The fact that Aron Baynes falls into the same categories as some of these already established players shows the kind of potential Baynes has.

Now don’t get carried away though, Aron Baynes will most likely not become a player similar to the likes of Gasol or Scola. Still, the fact that Baynes is mentioned among these names shows that he has the potential to do something big.

A point to further prove that argument is a list of the leaders in points per game from the 2012 Olympics.

Much like the list from the 2014 FIBA World Cup, the top 10 players scoring wise in the 2012 Olympics included many established NBA players and one soon to be established in the San Antonio Spurs’ own, Patty Mills.

These reasons are not the only reason that the Spurs should  re-sign Aron Baynes though.

Aron Baynes Has Proved Statistically That He Can Play a Significant Role

In addition to his breakout summer at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, Aron Baynes has proved statistically that he can be effective for the San Antonio Spurs.

Although Aron Baynes did not play much during his first two seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, his numbers in big time minutes opportunities show that there is promise.

Baynes’ per 36 numbers are very solid. During his most recent season, Aron Baynes put up per 36 numbers of 11.8 points and 10.6 rebounds.

While per 36 numbers usually go down as players receive more minutes, Baynes has shown some signs that he can keep up those strong numbers.

In the games where Aron Baynes played 20 minutes or more, the 27-year-old averaged 7.5 points and 5 rebounds.

Those numbers are decent but what should get fans somewhat excited is Baynes’ performances of 14 points, 6 rebounds and 12 points, 8 rebounds. Those performance show that there is hope for the Australian big man can he get some consistent playing time.

Consistency seems to be the biggest obstacle for Aron Baynes as he registered 23 DNP’s during the regular season. That can throw off a player’s groove and cause them to struggle.

For Aron Baynes to grow as a player, he needs to take something out of the Tiago Splitter playbook.

Splitter, like Baynes, was 25 when he entered the league. Tiago Splitter had established himself as a solid international player allowing him to come to the NBA and try to carve out a role for himself.

Tiago Splitter has been successful in those regards as he as transformed from a player at the bottom of the San Antonio Spurs rotation to one who played a significant role during the Spurs’ 2014 NBA Championship run.

What Aron Baynes needs to take out most from the Tiago Splitter playbook is effectiveness in long stretches.

Tiago Splitter’s per 36 numbers for his first season were 13.6 points and 9.8 rebounds. Now, in his fourth season and with increased minutes, Splitter has been able to prove he can be effective in long stretches as his per 36 numbers are similar to his first season, 13.7 points and 10.8 rebounds this season.

That is great news for Tiago Splitter as his minutes have jumped from 12.3 per game to 21.5 per game. That type of consistent effectiveness over long stretches is what Aron Baynes has to emulate.

Baynes has shown he is clearly up to the challenge with occasional impressive performances in the regular season and a great run over the summer during the 2014 FIBA World Cup for Australia.

Conclusion

The San Antonio Spurs should re-sign Aron Baynes. The Australian big man is coming off an impressive performance at the 2014 FIBA World Cup and has shown some potential in the past to be an effective player.

Baynes needs to work on maintaining that effectiveness but he has plenty of time to do so and is in one of the best basketball organizations to make that happen.

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Aron Baynes already has the formula for becoming efficient from fellow Spur Tiago Splitter and now has to implement it. Baynes, at 27-years-old, is still young and has time to put the pieces together.

With time already being invested in Aron Baynes, the Spurs should re-sign the 6-foot-10 center and focus on turning him into a decent contributor.

Also important to note here is that San Antonio is looking to fill their 15th roster spot. This is a bottom of the rotation spot most likely which is why there is no reason the Spurs should look elsewhere, especially considering Baynes has proved he can be somewhat effective in low playing time.

What are your thoughts about Aron Baynes? Should the San Antonio Spurs re-sign the Australian giant? Let us know in the comments!

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