Aron Baynes joins Suns practice; Jalen Lecque arrives in bubble
The Phoenix Suns welcomed backup center Aron Baynes to practice Thursday, and head coach Monty Williams said the veteran big man looks “in great shape” after entering the NBA bubble late following a bout with coronavirus.
“He certainly doesn’t have the wind to play the way that we play, but he looked great,” Williams said over Zoom.
“I think he’s going to need a bit more cardio and reps before he can get out there and play.”
Baynes’ presence would be a boost to the Suns rotation with a Friday NBA re-start opener against the Washington Wizards on deck. While his status for the opener looks unlikely, his return at some point would be another step toward Phoenix’s roster reaching full strength during the eight seeding games at Disney World.
Baynes averaged 11.5 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 35% from three-point range this year. For 25 games he served as a replacement to starter Deandre Ayton during the second-year pro’s PED suspension.
In addition to getting Baynes suited up, the Suns welcomed little-used rookie guard Jalen Lecque to Orlando on Thursday. He is now in quarantine after arriving in the bubble.
Meanwhile, forward Dario Saric is making progress after spraining his left ankle in the scrimmage finale against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.
“Dario did do more today and he did some stuff yesterday on the floor,” Williams said. “He looks a lot better than he did a couple days ago, a few days ago when he turned it.”
There is no update on starting small forward Kelly Oubre Jr., whose status remains a mystery coming off knee surgery.