A man Dick Bennett once described as a "big bear with a sore ass" will soon be making his NBA debut . Aron Baynes is reportedly a member of the San Antonio Spurs according to the excellent Spurs blog Pounding the Rock.
For those who haven't been following him closely, Baynes has spent his entire professional career in Europe, playing one season with Lietuvos Rytas in Lithuania and is currently playing for Olimpija Ljublijana in Slovenia. He averaged nearly a double-double last year, dropping 13.8 points per game and grabbing 9.8 boards per contest.
Baynes has also spent some time representing his country. He played for Australia at the 2010 FIBA World Championships and the 2012 London Olympics. His contract with Olimpija Ljublijana was reportedly bought out for $400,000 and the deal he signed with the Spurs is rumored to be worth roughly $3 million over four years.
I had the pleasure of watching Baynes play for three years at WSU and he quickly became my favorite player. It wasn't because of his skill in the low block, his ability to body up on anyone in the conference or his gorgeous baby hook. Well, those things helped but what really endeared him to me was the man's intensity. Holy crap the dude looked ready to take on a freight train and times and I can't think of a soul that would've gotten in his way. Also, has he ever been called for a foul he thinks he committed? I've only seen him play in the Olympics since his graduation but I'd wager he still has the same "what the hell did I do?" look on his face every time he hears a whistle and an official points at him.
A big congratulations is in order to Aron Baynes. Not bad for a guy whose favorite topping for toast is Vegemite.