Boomers big man Aaron Baynes lands huge NBA pay day with Toronto Raptors

The West Australian
Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes is off to Toronto.
Camera IconPhoenix Suns center Aron Baynes is off to Toronto. Credit: Jack Dempsey/AP

Boomers big man Aron Baynes has agreed to a two-year, AU$19.5 million deal with the Toronto Raptors as the NBA free agency madness continues.

Baynes links with the Raptors following a season with the Phoenix Suns, where he averaged 11.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in 42 games.

The proud Mareeba product from far north Queensland will provide Toronto with valuable presence in the paint after the franchise lost key bigs Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol to the Clippers and Lakers respectively.

Baynes is looking forward to an uninterrupted season following a frustrating year when he tested positive to coronavirus in July.

He was eventually cleared, but had to endure a month-long battle where he was forced to isolate in his family home in Phoenix away from his wife and two children.

“The first few nights were the scariest for me because at that point I was also putting my family at risk,” Baynes told The Athletic.

“Once that first test came back positive, I went into isolation from everyone. I was in the house, but I was isolated in a separate room.

“The wife would drop off food for me.”

Prior to the NBA shutdown in early March, Baynes was averaging career-best numbers at Phoenix with 11.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists.

Meanwhile, former Sydney King and NBL First Team forward Jae’Sean Tate is poised to sign a three-year deal to join ex-Kings coach Will Weaver at the Rockets.

And Donovan Mitchell will soon be a max-contract recipient after he agreed a five-year extension with the Utah Jazz that guarantees him $163 million ($A223m).

The new payday starts kicking in with the 2021-22 season — and could be worth $196m ($A268m) if he reaches the All-NBA level.

“A dream does not become reality through magic it takes sweat, determination and hard work,” Mitchell wrote on Instagram.

The Jazz did not immediately comment.

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