The drop off in the center rotation has been the biggest deterrent to the continued success of the Toronto Raptors this season. Alex Len has already been released but ultimately his poor play does not come as a tremendous surprise. Aron Baynes on the other hand joined the Raptors in Tampa with some level of expectations.
Last season for the Phoenix Suns Baynes looked like a potential free agent steal. He posted a line of 11.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists. Baynes boasted solid efficiency, shooting 48.0 percent from the field and an impressive 35.1 percent on 4.0 long-distance attempts per game. He was an important part of the Suns’ defense and helped them weather the storm while Deandre Ayton was suspended.
The statistical deterioration from year to year is startling. Through 11 games Baynes is posting a line of 3.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 0.6 assists on shooting splits of .365/.182 with no free throw attempts to register a percentage. The efficiency disintegration is especially galling. Baynes is attempting far fewer shots but is just not connecting.
Baynes has just been bad. He has earned himself three DNPs and is quickly finding himself expendable. For a team in desperate need of size the fact that he is falling out of the rotation is telling.