Aussie Baynes lands monster Celtics deal
ARON Baynes is staying with the Boston Celtics.
The Australian centre's new two-year, $US11 million ($A15 million) deal with the Celtics looks cheap compared with the mega-sized contracts signed by superstars Chris Paul, Paul George and Kevin Durant early on Sunday morning when the NBA's free agency opened.
Baynes, however, couldn't be happier.
The 31-year-old, 208cm Queenslander announced in a shamrock-laden tweet he bled "green" and was determined to help the great NBA franchise achieve its 18th championship.
"Staying where I wanted to be!!" Baynes wrote on Twitter.
"Last year added fuel to the (fire) bleed green banner 18."
Baynes has become a key member of a Celtics squad that still made the Eastern Conference finals despite losing All-Stars Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving to injury.
Fellow Australian Dante Exum was not so quick to re-sign with the Utah Jazz. The Salt Lake Tribune reported the Jazz have a meeting set up with the point guard and are keen to reach a deal with him.
The Jazz presented Exum, a restricted free agent, with a $US6.6 million qualifying offer earlier in the week to stay in Utah and can match offers from rival teams.
The NBA contract landscape has changed since the recent boom years when Australia's Joe Ingles (four years, $US52 million with the Jazz), Patty Mills (four years, $US50 million, San Antonio Spurs) and Matthew Dellavedova (four years, $US38.4 million, Milwaukee Bucks) signed huge deals after an increase in the salary cap following the NBA signing a lucrative new broadcast deal. Most teams are now over their salary cap so NBA role players now struggle to secure such big paydays.
Superstars, however, are still cashing in.
In the minutes after NBA free agency opened on Sunday, Paul signed a four-year, $US160 million contract to stay with the Houston Rockets.
George chose to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder with a four-year, $US137 million deal.
James has yet to announce if he'll stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly the frontrunners to sign James.
Durant chose to stay with the champion Golden State Warriors (two years, $US61.5 million), Nikola Jokic is staying with the Denver Nuggets (five years, $US148 million) and DeAndre Jordan is leaving the LA Clippers for the Dallas Mavericks (one year, $US24 million).