Boston Celtics Wild Card: Von Wafer
Probably one of the least discussed moves that the Celtics have made this year is the acquisition of Von Wafer. On the surface this is not surprising.
Who is this guy? That's the most common response I have received while trying to convey my opinion of the Celtics offseason.
The reason for the lack of Wafer knowledge is no shocker. Wafer was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2005 from Florida State. He spent the next three years rolling through the NBA D-League programs of the Clippers, Nuggets, and Trailblazers.
Finally in the 2008-09 season, Wafer made a bit of a name for himself. With Tracy Mcgrady once again plagued with an injury, Wafer was called up to take some of the guards minutes on the Rockets. Wafer started 11 games, shooting almost 45 percent from the field for 9.7 PPG over 19 minutes/game. His 39 percent posting from behind the arc was second only to Ron Artest on the Rockets(back when Artest looked competent hitting treys).
Wafer utilized his new found success to cash in overseas at the end of the season. Olmpiakos Piraeus, a Greek Euro League team, gave Wafer a $10 million deal to join them.
The rumor is that Wafer signed for the veteran minimum when he joined the Celtics. Either way, he brings some different skills to the table.
One of the greatest issues going into the offseason for the Celtics (besides their post presence) was their off-the-bench shooting. Ray Allen's age leaves needed fill-in minutes off the bench and the Celtics finally have options.
Drafting PG Avery Bradley out of Texas, along with the re-signing of Nate Robinson, gave Boston some improved shooting depth. The addition of Wafer looks to eliminate the bench scoring issue completely.
At 6'5”, Wafer is physically comparable to Ray Allen, matching him for the tallest guard on the team. Defensively, Wafer is nowhere near Allen's underrated presence, and the Celtics hope Wafer can learn from Allen on that end of the court.
With Bradley, Robinson, and Wafer, the Celtics can exploit different match ups when Rajon Rondo and Allen need rest. All three players have the ability to create their own shot, and their quickness forces defenses to stay honest on their jump shots.
Bradley should emerge as a presence in his rookie year while Robinson will become more accustomed to his team role. Rounding out the bench with Wafer could pain some defenses as he could end up being one of the more pleasant surprises for Celtics fans this year.
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