Phoenix Suns: Aron Baynes is still recovering from COVID-19

Aron Baynes, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Aron Baynes, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

That’s a rough blow for both Baynes and the Phoenix Suns

While speaking to Shams Charania early on Wednesday afternoon, center Aron Baynes revealed that he has tested positive for COVID-19. This would explain why he was not pictured or mentioned by the Phoenix Suns social media, players, or coaches. Baynes has shared that he has not played basketball in over a month and remains in Phoenix while the Suns are in the Orlando bubble.

Baynes has not played basketball in over a month and remains in Phoenix to test for antibodies.

Baynes is hopeful to join the team soon but will have to stay to test for antibodies first. Of course, after getting clear he would still need to stay quarantined before joining the team, and that would include a number of days of negative testing concerning the virus. He shared that Wednesday was the first time that he was able to work out and feel OK doing so, and yet he is still working to recover and get back on the road to health. While we all wish Baynes a safe recovery, it is troubling to think about how Baynes would be able to make his return to the court in a timely manner.

Consider this: in the time it will take Baynes to actually get back on the floor once the testing is done, there is still that little matter of “not touching a basketball in over a month” to look into. One could expect Baynes’ rhythm to be off, not just with his Phoenix Suns teammates but also on the court. After all, a month is a lot of time go without playing, especially when you are immediately thrust into several high-stakes, high-intensity games.

Baynes has had nothing less than a spectacular season across the board, and his impact extends even further than his very solid 11.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. His outside shooting, particularly from three-point range, has been a revelation, as he is shooting a career-high 35% from there on a whopping four attempts a game.

Related Story. Two members of the Phoenix Suns tested positive for COVID-19. light

Using BBall excellent Index data and tools package (you can find more here) Baynes ranked favorably across most all shooting metrics among players matching his position and offensive archetype (stretch big). He ranked in the 46th percentile in catch and shoot three-point percentage, 56th percentile in overall three-point shooting, and a whopping 98th percentile in pull-up three-point shooting (on an admittedly low volume, but still)

That loss of floor spacing is huge for the Phoenix Suns, who will rely on Dario Saric and Frank Kaminsky more than ever to provide that ability. There is literally nowhere else it will come from for a Suns power forward or center. Deandre Ayton hasn’t added the three-ball to his repertoire. Ditto for Cheick Diallo. Cam Johnson can provide that stretchiness in spades but he’s only a part-time big as he swings between both forwards spots. Same for Kelly Oubre (whose status is still….unknown? Bayne’s impact on the Suns this year is just irreplaceable.

The Phoenix Suns will attempt to hold down the fort without Baynes, who will now join Elie Okobo and Jalen Lecque as the only other Suns members to not be confirmed in the Orlando bubble