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Former WSU center Aron Baynes declines option to become free agent

Baynes played for seasons with the Pistons, and now the former Cougar basketball player is looking for a new NBA home.

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Brooklyn Nets v Detroit Pistons Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

There were two pieces of big news about former WSU athletes making moves in the pros on Tuesday, one in the NBA and one in the NFL. One player won a lot of games for the Cougs, the other is a pretty controversial figure among some Cougar fans.

So we’ll start with the former: Aron Baynes. The man who has adopted a new and interesting hair style since leaving Pullman and has never committed a foul in his entire life.

Baynes Reaction

On Tuesday, Baynes officially decided to opt out of his contract with the Detroit Pistons. The 30-year-old averaged 4.9 points in 75 games last season as the backup to Andre Drummond. According to the Detroit News, Baynes is turning down $6.5 million in hopes of finding greener pastures (and a greener wallet) somewhere else.

Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy didn’t rule out the idea of Baynes signing a new deal with the team. Baynes is expected to receive somewhere around $12 million on the free agent market with a new deal.

Now onto the NFL and a very controversial former Cougar receiver.

A lot of people still don’t know how to feel about Marquess Wilson, and for good reason. The receiver didn’t exactly leave WSU on the best of terms. A lot of people still haven’t gotten over how it went down. But whether you love him or hate him, it’s always nice to see a guy like that with ties to WSU be successful, and now Wilson has another chance to do just that.

On Tuesday, Wilson signed a free agent deal with the New York Jets. Wilson spent the previous four seasons with the Chicago Bears. The highlight of his career so far came in 2015 when he played in 11 games, averaging more than 16 yards per catch, the 12th most for any qualifying receiver in the NFL. The 5th year player will now join a wide receiver room that also features undrafted free agent Gabe Marks.

Since being drafted in 2013, the receiver has shown glimpses of being a high caliber talent, but has been hampered by serious injuries. In 2014, Wilson suffered a broken clavicle in training camp and only played in seven games. Then, last season, the receiver suffered a broken foot just forced him to miss all but 3 games.

Now, Wilson will have a chance at a fresh start in New York for a team clearly looking for a breakout out star at receiver.


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