Klay Thompson and the Warriors added DeMarcus Cousins to make their super team even super-er.
The Lakers added LeBron James to revitalize the Lake Show.
The Rockets re-signed Chris Paul to a Houston team that was one win away from eliminating Golden State in the Western Conference finals.
Basically, the Western Conference is really, really good in the NBA. And that leaves a huge opening for an Eastern Conference squad to step up and capture an abnormally easy conference crown.
Right now, the Boston Celtics figure to be in the perfect position to take advantage. And a former Washington State center figures to be a crucial cog in that machine once again in the 2018-19 season.
On Saturday night, Aron Baynes signed a 2-year, $11 million dollar contract to stay with the Boston Celtics. Last season, the Aussie started 61 games for the Celtics at center, averaging 18.3 minute per game while putting up 6 points per game. But the Celtics found the most value in Baynes on the defensive side of the ball.
“His work ethic, his everyday mentality. He brings just a juice every single day,” Boston coach Brad Stevens told ESPN last week. “He’s an elite defender. He’s a really good player, and he’s a really tough guy.”
Last season the Celtics posted the best defensive rating in the NBA at 101.5 and Baynes was a big part of that. He put up the best individual defensive rating in the league among all qualifiers. And with those kind of numbers, the Celtics got a major discount at just $5.5 million a year. But in the end, this deal turned out to be a win-win for both sides.
According to our SBNation sister site CelticsBlog, The deal will likely allow the Celtics to keep their full mid-level and biannual exceptions intact, while Baynes gets a player option for the 2019 season with the chance to enter free agency again next season when team may have more cap room.
Here’s how Keith Smith of CelticsBlog wrapped up the whole situation.
Love it for the Celtics and love it for Baynes. Could Baynes have gotten a bit more on the open market? Possibly. Teams love big, burly centers. Teams love centers that can shoot the three. Teams really love centers that combine both attributes. But Baynes is comfortable in Boston and knows he has a key role to play.
Source close to the Baynes negotiations: "To call it a negotiation is way overstating it. Conversation was:— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) July 1, 2018
Boston: You wanna be here right?
Boston: Can you do a little less to give us some more flexibility?
Baynes: Sure. Whatever works.
Easiest deal ever done"
Baynes has bounced around the league since his debut in 2012. He won an NBA title with the Spurs before heading to Detroit in 2015 and eventually Boston prior to the 2018 season. Now it seems he’s found a place where he can stick, and our favorite center that has never committed a foul in his life has a chance to make another push deep into the NBA playoffs.
Why college football and the NCAA should embrace injury reports
The NCAA should mandate injury reports across college football to increase discussion of the topic and create a way to fit into new gambling laws.
College football’s greatest teams: The best season from every Pac-12 program
Washington State wasn’t on national radars when the 1997 season started, but following a win at No. 23 USC in September, the Cougars jumped into the top 25 and never looked back.
Three Cougars Earn WGCA All-American Scholar Honors - Washington State University
Senior Alivia Brown earned her fourth-straight award.