When the Celtics shipped Courtney Lee to Memphis in early January, they managed to get rid of a mid-term contract for an expiring contract, that of Bayless. Lee was set to earn approximately $16,350,000M over the following 3 seasons. Danny Ainge made a smart move by ridding himself of that contract and in return acquiring an expiring contract worth approximately $3,125,00M. Jerryd Bayless was a great addition for the Green last season, as he was a valuable starter and gave them much needed 3-point help. However, he is set to hit the open market this offseason. Danny Ainge and company would certainly love to bring him back, but at what price?
Bayless has been a journeyman throughout his 6 year NBA career. He has played for 5 different teams thus far including the Portland Trail blazers, New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans, Toronto Raptors, Memphis Grizzlies and the Boston Celtics. Bayless played in 41 games for the Celtics this past season, starting 14 of those. Bayless saw most of his playing time at SG although he also played some PG. All in all, he averaged 10.1 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.1 rebounds in 25.3 minutes of action. He also shot 40% from downtown, giving Boston much needed help in that category. It’s also worth noting he shot 49% from downtown during the last 15 games of the season. He also put up good numbers from the charity stripe, shooting 80% from there, and 41% overall. Bayless has also shown interest in staying a Celtic,
“It’s been great not only playing getting to play with Rondo, but getting to know him. He is a very smart person, and a lot of the stuff that’s out there about him being tough to deal with is the farthest thing from the truth. He’s great with teammates and with our coach, Brad Stevens. I’ve had a great time being able to get to know Rondo in the last couple months, and hopefully, we can grow as teammates for a long time.”
Bayless will garner plenty of attention from teams this offseason. Teams that could have interest in him include the Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Bobcats. It was reported in December that the Memphis offered Los Angeles a Jodie Meeks-Jerryd Bayless swap, which the Lakers refused. However, they could go after Bayless in free-agency. The Bobcats have a few missing pieces needing to be filled before being able to contend. They need someone who can come off the bench and score. Jerryd Bayless fits that description.
As mentioned before, the Celtics would definitely love to bring back Bayless, but at what cost? Bayless could demand as much as $4.5M annually this off-season. Although, since he has expressed interest in staying a Celtic, he could potentially lower that rate. Personally, I think a 2 year, $6.2M offer is not too bad.