As the 2019 NBA Draft draws closer, we will update this story with the latest Celtics news and nuggets.
■ Last week, center Aron Baynes picked up his $5.5 million player option with the Celtics for next season. On Thursday, just hours before the 2019 NBA Draft, the Celtics made Baynes available to teams with cap space, according to ESPN. If Kyrie Irving and Al Horford do in fact sign elsewhere, and Boston is able to move Baynes, the Celtics could have about $23 million in cap space.
Baynes signed a one-year deal with the Celtics in 2017 before agreeing to a two-year deal last season that included a player option for the coming year. He was limited to 51 regular-season games in 2018-19 because of various injuries but was a steady defensive anchor when he was available. He averaged 5.6 points and 4.7 rebounds in 16.1 minutes per game.
Baynes last month said he wanted to talk to Ainge and Stevens about his role before deciding whether to opt in. "I want to be in the right situation. In the NBA everyone always wants to be able to contribute and help the team that they’re on and I’m no different."— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) June 12, 2019
One thing to know with Ainge: He generally won't enter a draft thinking "We need to trade up" or "We need to trade down." He'll pounce on whichever route offers the best value.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) June 20, 2019
More Celtics coverage:
■ Himmelsbach: The Celtics still have plenty of appeal to draft prospects