Veteran center Aron Baynes has agreed to return to basketball with the NBL’s Brisbane Bullets, just a year after a freak fall at the Tokyo Olympics left him hospitalized and initially unable to walk, his agent Daniel Moldovan told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
Baynes will sign a two-year deal with the Australian club but the contract has a provision that will allow him to leave and return to the NBA should he receive an opportunity to do so, per Windhorst. Baynes reportedly had offers from teams in both Europe and China, but those deals wouldn’t have allowed an out to return to the NBA, which remains his ultimate goal.
Baynes worked out for a handful of teams in Las Vegas earlier this month during the NBA’s Summer League, about six months after he resumed playing basketball. Until this January, the 35-year-old was going through a grueling, months-long rehabilitation process after suffering a spinal cord injury when he slipped in the bathroom during the fourth quarter of Australia’s game against Italy in the Tokyo Olympics. He spent a few months in hospitals in Tokyo and Brisbane last summer, beginning to undergo physical therapy to regain strength in his limbs.
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Baynes, a nine-year NBA veteran, last played for the Raptors in the 2020-21 season, averaging 6.1 points and 5.2 rebounds. He previously played for the Spurs, winning an NBA championship in 2014, as well as the Pistons, Celtics and Suns.
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