Gisborne-born Aussie Baynes seals NBA deal
Updated at 11:55 am on 25 January 2013
A Gisborne-born basketball player has signed a deal to play in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs.
Aron Baynes, an imposing 2.08 metre (almost six feet 10 inches) centre, plays for Australia and joins Boomers team-mates Andrew Bogut and Patty Mills in the NBA, in a mid-season move.
The 26-year-old becomes the 13th Australian to make his mark on the world's premier basketball competition.
Following in the footsteps of Luc Longley, Bogut and Andrew Gaze before him, Baynes landed at one of the NBA's hottest teams following a breakout tournament at the London Olympics.
His physical play helped take the Boomers to the quarter-finals, where they were outclassed by a loaded Team USA, but it helped catch the eye of NBA scouts and ended up earning him a four-year deal reportedly worth around $4 million.
Baynes' move to the Spurs allows him to not only link with Boomers guard Patty Mills, but also former coach Brett Brown who works as an assistant at the team.
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