Australian Boomer Aron Baynes is the latest Australian to sign an NBA contract, moving from Europe to play with the San Antonio Spurs.
Baynes will sign with the Spurs in the near future and hopefully join Boomer teammate Patrick Mills as sparks off the team’s bench. The 26-year-old New Zealand-born Australian has been dominating the Euroleague playing for Slovenian club Union Olimpija- he leads the continent wide competition with slightly under 10 rebounds per game while shooting 58% from the field.
Olimpija all but confirmed the move, posting, "Thank you for everything and good luck – @aronbaynes!", on the team’s Twitter account.
Baynes reportedly will accept a $3.5 million contract over four years and was likely recommended by Spurs’ assistant coach Brett Brown, who has coached Baynes the past few years as the Boomers’ head coach during the NBA offseason. Baynes joins Mills and former No.1 overall draft pick Andrew Bogut as the only Australians currently playing in the NBA.
Australia may see two more players enter the league next season (2013-14).
22-year-old NBA prospect Matthew Dellavedova is dominating the US college game for St Mary’s, Mills’ alma mater, and should be drafted by a professional team at this year’s NBA draft during the American summer.
Dellavedova played a big role in Australia’s Olympic campaign in London in 2012 and is posting career highs for St Mary’s- 17.4 points per game, 6.7 assists per game, 47% shooting and 42% three-point shooting. St Mary’s coach Randy Bennett recently told The Australian that Dellavedova is a better prospect that Mills was at the same point of their college careers.
Not only does Dellavedova possess great height for the point guard position, something NBA scouts adore, he is a great passer and an elite shooter. While he may lack the athleticism of some NBA All-Stars, Dellavedova should receive the opportunity to have a long and productive NBA career.
Finally, Australian Joe Ingles may sign an NBA contract after his FC Barcelona one expires at the end of this season. Ingles attracted a heap of attention at the London Olympics as a second offensive option next to Mills in the Australian attack and the international veteran will once again receive plenty of interest from American clubs this offseason.
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