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NBA free agency report: Aron Baynes back to the Celtics on 2-year, $11 million deal

Celts retain the first of their two significant free agents just after the stroke of midnight on July 1.

NBA: Playoffs-Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Yahoo’s Shams Charania reported Sunday night that All of Australia is back in Boston. Aron Baynes will return to the Celtics as expected on a 2-year, $11 million deal using non-Bird rights.

After Baynes represented Boston at the NBA awards and Danny Ainge spoke following the NBA Draft about the team’s desire to retain Baynes, the long-rumored rapid reunion occurred minutes after free agency.

CelticsBlog’s Keith Smith reported the second year of Baynes’ deal is a player option.

Now one of the two significant free agents who entered the market from the C’s is back in the fold, but don’t expect Marcus Smart’s return to occur as rapidly.

Adding Baynes to Boston’s salary under the announced luxury tax threshold of $123 million raises the Celts to $112.9 million on the books for the 2018-19 season. They’ll also add first-round pick Robert Williams, who projects to make $1.3 million this year. With that in mind, under $11 million remains for Smart if Boston wants to avoid the tax, though doing so may be unavoidable now.

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