The Celtic's Aron Baynes blocks a shot from John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks on March 16 in Boston, Massachusetts. Picture: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
The Celtic's Aron Baynes blocks a shot from John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks on March 16 in Boston, Massachusetts. Picture: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Baynes takes up final year of Celtics contract for $8.5m

ARON Baynes is staying with the Boston Celtics.

The Australian big man had the option of becoming a free agent, but agreed to take up the final year of his contract with the Celtics for $US5.9 million ($A8.5 million), The Athletic reported on Wednesday.

The decision by Baynes, who has made no secret about his love for Boston and playing for the Celtics, provides the team with some stability as it waits for their Australian-born All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to decide if he will return.

Irving did the opposite to Baynes on Wednesday (local time) and opted out of his $US21.3 million contract for next season.

Irving is one of the NBA's most sought-after free agents and has been linked to the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers, where he would join forces with LeBron James again after winning a championship together at the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

Irving's decision to opt out of the Boston contract was expected.

He is now eligible for a huge pay rise, with projections he could earn more than $US32 million next season.

Irving's 2018-19 season with the Celtics was a rocky one with locker room turmoil as the six-time All-Star struggled to mesh with the team's young stars.

Irving will be an unrestricted free agent when free agency opens on June 30.

The Celtics' All-Star centre/forward Al Horford is yet to announce if he will take up his his $US30.1 million player option for next season.

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