Baynes Exercises Player Option to Remain With Celtics

The Boston Celtics did get some good news on Wednesday afternoon after all.

Though Kyrie Irving elected to opt out of his $20 million-plus player option, one member of the Celtics did opt into his deal.

NBC Sports Boston's A. Sherrod Blakely has confirmed that Baynes exercised the player option on his contract for the 2019-20 season. The Australian big man will return to the team and make $5.9 million. The news was first reported by The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Baynes had recently expressed a desire to stay in Boston, saying that his "heart's still here in Boston" but he would first talk to Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens about staying. And ultimately, he did decide to remain with the Celtics. 

Last season, Baynes averaged 5.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, and a career-high 0.7 blocks per game. The Celtics were a much better defensive team with him on the court and at one point in the season, their net defensive rating was 8.3 points better with him on the floor.

There is some concern that Baynes, 32, battled foot/ankle injuries last season, but getting a serviceable defensive center for under $6 million is a solid deal. He will provide the Celtics with some depth and security at center, and that's important given that Al Horford is also deciding whether or not to exercise a player option of his own.

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