Celtics reportedly trade Aron Baynes and No. 24 overall pick to Phoenix Suns

Baynes recently opted in to his $5.4 million player option in order to clear cap space.

Aron Baynes defends against the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Aron Baynes defends against the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo. –Michael Dwyer / AP Photo

The Celtics reportedly traded Aron Baynes and the No. 24 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for a 2020 first-round selection.

Boston initially got the No. 24 pick in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Suns used it to select University of Virginia guard Ty Jerome.

The 32-year-old center Baynes posted 5.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game last season for the Celtics, though he was limited to 51 games due to injury. Boston shopped Baynes – who recently opted in to his $5.4 million player option – in order to clear cap space.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens has raved about Baynes in the past, and he continued to do so Thursday at the Auerbach Center.

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“I think you guys all know how I feel,” Stevens said. “I think I’ll answer that when it’s all appropriate to. I don’t want to make any statements that would be considered insinuations, but I think you guys all know how I feel about him.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that moving Baynes could get the Celtics to $23 million in space without Kyrie Irving and Al Horford on the books.

Baynes had expressed interest in staying in Boston, but he’s heading to a young team with plenty of up-and-coming talent.

“In the NBA, everyone always wants to be able to contribute and help the team that they’re on and I’m no different,” Baynes told reporters earlier this month.