NBA / Aug 2, 2010 / 9:45 am

Von Wafer Might Be Exactly Who The Celtics Need

When Rudy Fernandez announced that he wanted out of Portland, I thought Boston would be an excellent destination for him. But instead of waiting it out and trying to work out a deal, Boston’s GM Danny Ainge decided to take a low-risk, high-reward signing in Von Wafer.

Wafer made the decision to play in Europe last summer after an impressive season in which he averaged 9.7 points per game and shot 39 percent from beyond the arc for the Houston Rockets. There were moments in that season in which Wafer looked like a dominant spark plug off of the bench. And if you’ve watched his game, he has had the type of career where people have been talking about his potential rather than his production.

As a senior in high school, Wafer blew up on the scene and committed to Florida State University. For the Seminoles, Wafer did not make the instant impact people thought he would make, yet he still declared for the NBA Draft after his freshman season.

After bouncing around the League for a few years, Wafer found a temporary home in Houston, where he took over for an injured Tracy McGrady. It was the perfect opportunity for Wafer to revive his career by re-signing with Houston or signing with another NBA team two years ago, but he chose to chase the money overseas instead.

Now, after failing numerous workouts with other NBA teams last winter, Wafer has signed a one-year deal with the Celtics and hope to finally live up to his potential.

There are, however, no guarantees this time around. Wafer will have to duel with Marquis Daniels in training camp for the back-up shooting guard/small forward spot. He may be at the disadvantage since Daniels was with the Celtics last year and may be more familiar with their system.

Two keys for Wafer to stick with the Celtics:

1. Defense: It is a known fact that Wafer cannot bring the same defensive presence as Daniels, but with the right Celtics lineup, Wafer would be the right guy to push the tempo when the team is struggling to find anyone to score.

2. Consistency: When Nate Robinson got benched last year, it was because Doc Rivers was not sure what he would bring to the table. Wafer should not want to find himself in the same position, but consistency has been a problem for him in the past. If he has been working hard this offseason, it should not be a problem for him this year.

Boston fans may not like the idea of Wafer stealing Avery Bradley‘s minutes, but he might be the experienced player they need to replace Tony Allen. He also brings nice size, energy and swagger to the team. If he can be as efficient as he was in Houston in Boston, he should have no problem fitting in on the squad. He will need to make the team his top priority, rather than his stats, to stick around in the League this time around.

What do you think? Will Wafer help out the Celtics this season?

Follow Lucas on Twitter at @LucasTHENBAMan.

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  • Craig

    Lucas,
    has anyone after bouncing around the league and jetting to europe and having a quiet season there too ever just come back and burst on the scene? has anyone ever finally gotten “it”? you have it or you dont…this guy aint it. hype it up but all normal people are going to count him out

  • jzsmoove

    Marquis Daniels more familiar with the system? yeah i guess he had a lot of time to digest all the info he needed while sitting on the bench.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Lucas Shapiro

    Craig- Just because it hasn’t happened, doesn’t mean it still can…

    J- Sometimes guys need an extra year with a franchise to break out.

  • Craig

    I understand the editor gave you a shitty article, you wrote man. you dont have to keep defending it. youll get a paycheck for it

  • Showtime

    Exactly what they need? Do they really have a shortage for knuckleheads? If so then they got exactly what they needed

  • http://mommatheregoesthatman.com David Acosta

    Damn y’all. Ease up on Lucas, lotta bitter people up in here. Some of you must be Cleveland/LeBron fans huh? Either that, or you only flip on the t.v. during the post season.

  • isaac

    i would say craig woke up on the wrong side of the bed

  • Celts Fan

    @Showtime – ya, and we got a shortage of proven bench scorers that can be a sparkplug for the 2nd unit. This IS exactly what we need if he can keep his attitude in check. If he goes missing at some point during the season, you’ll know he talked back to KG one too many times and he’s buried in a construction site somewhere in Southie.

  • Celts Fan

    @Craig – that happens ALL THE TIME, especially when a guy leaves school early and heads overseas right around the time he should be heading onstage to get a diploma. Dude pocketed something like $5M last year. Any of us woulda done the same thing. There’s a lot of hate in you bro. Let me guess, you’d be in the league and better than Von if your AAU coach had just given you more tick? SMFH

  • Mannox

    “Two keys for Wafer to stick with the Celtics”

    mmmmmmmm…wafer sticks

  • karizmatic

    I’ve been a fan of Wafer’s since he caught fire with the Rockers a while ago, I think he might fit in nicely as a replacement to Tony Allen.

  • Celts Fan

    @Karizmatic – same here man. Not sure he can D up liek Tony, but Marquis and Avery Bradley can take that role. We desperately needed a bench scorer that can spread the floor and that’s exactly what we just got. Now about that gaping hole in the big man rotation…

  • sh!tfaced

    Like the article said – low risk, high reward…

    And at least he never said he was overshadowed by anybody…

  • Showtime

    @ Celts Fan

    You really need another gunner that doesn’t play D or make plays for others? Ya’ll already have Lil Nate in that role isn’t one one-dimensional gunner enough? But hey I guess you can take a gamble for the minimum. I’m just curious why you guys are gambling at Wafer when Ainge and Rivers are raving about this Avery Bradley kid

  • s.bucketz

    “When Nate Robinson got benched last year, it was because Doc Rivers was not sure what he would bring to the table.”

    False. Nate was benched because of a clause in his contract that if he played in a certain amount of games and made the playoffs he would have gotten a $1 million bonus. The celts dicked him outta that milli…he was 1 game under the amount he needed.

  • Celts Fan

    @s.bucketz – so that would explain why he got DNP-CD’s for most of the first and 2nd round too?

    @showtime – You can never have too many guys that can score. He either takes some of Nate’s minutes (assuming Bradley’s ready to go and you play Avery at the 1) or he takes some of Marquis Daniels’ minutes, or he rots on the end of the bench, but is still better than most end-of-the-bench guys. He can play the 2 or 3 offensively (the only other guy we have that can do that is Marquis, Avery’s a 1 or 2 and, remember, still just a little over a year removed from HS)

  • Joe’s Momma

    This guy doesn’t play defense. But he can be a scorer off the bench.

    His one year in Houston when he got steady mins he showed he can score. But will Boston be able to play him in their system defensively? He got to hide in Houston with Battier there to cover the best player. Who will do that in Boston, PP, Jesus Shuttlesworth, Daniels most likely.

    I would expect to see both Daniels and Wafer in the backcourt together. Daniels was playing well until he got hurt. He can run point. He can’t shoot well enough to play the 2 long stretches. But Wafer can

    And I think Nate didn’t get to play in the 1st or second round because Doc didn’t want to mess with the rotations. After Nate got bamboozled out of his 1 mil by both D’Antoni’s punk ass and then the Celtics kept him out late in the year because Doc “didn’t know what he could give them”

    B.S. He gave you what you were missing, a scorer. Just say what is really was, a cost saving move. Nate, I hope you learned, never put games played as a requirement for bonus, they will screw you

  • Ekstor

    Neither Wafer nor M.Daniels can replace what T.Allen brought on D. Allen was/is an elite on-the-ball defender. I haven’t seen Avery Bradley, but unless he possesses SG size to go with a big wingspan, great lateral quickness, and explosive hops… Boston will not have a good option to use against the players like DWade, Kobe, and LBJ.

  • Craig

    @ Celts Fan
    Dude it never happens. you talking about people coming over here from euroleague. that happens all the time. how much do people get put up on a pedastal, fall miserably below expectations, bounce around, euro league it (and get cut) and come back with an article dedicated to “this could be what puts celts over the edge”. your name is your bias.
    the write didnt convince me that would be a great move, did he even convince himself? “low risk, high reward” is used for every 12th man. doesnt mean the article is standout just cuz it says “celts”

  • http://mommatheregoesthatman.com David Acosta

    @ EVERYONE.

    ok ok, ALL your answers are here:

    http://www.celtics247.com/2010/08/so-where-exactly-are-we-danny/

    ALL of them.

  • Celts Fan

    @JoesMamma – pretty sure Mike D benched his @$$ cuz dude shot on his own hoop during a game. That’s why he missed that bonus. We were still battling for Playoff positioning. Do you really think the same guy that said, “Ya, go get Ray and KG. I don’t care about the luxury tax, let’s win!” really turned around and pulled that kinda ish to Nate. Nate didn’t get any burn cuz he didn’t know Doc’s system yet and is terrible defensively so you couldn’t plug him in and let him learn the O on the fly and still get something from him – he’s even said as much himself on the lack of time. Also, that stipulation was for a games played min being hit FOR A PLAYOFF TEAM. If we hadn’t traded for him he never woulda had a chance at that $$$ anyway, so you’re arguing a strawman point here.

    @Craig – then you don’t pay attention man. First off, he got cut from his Greek team for having a bad attitude. that’s not exactly a plus, but it was nothing having to do w/ talent-level. Second – when TMac was hurt a few years ago, dude was filling it up. He’s a fit cuz our best bench shooter last year was either Nate or Sheed. One’s a big, the other’s waaaaaaaaaay too small. We finally have a bench shooter/scorer that’s a wing and the right height for his position.

    Let’s see, examples of guys that came out, went overseas, then came back: Bruce Bowen, Ben Wallace, Stephen Jackson, Josh Childress (it’s coming soon enough, right?) Danny Ferry. There are rotation guys all over the league that have done that. I’m not saying he’s gonna be a star but rotation guys that can and do help contenders do that kinda thing all the time.

    @Ekstor – defensively, I think we’re hoping Avery Bradley’s ready. He’s supposed to be that dude. If not, Marquis is a good enough defender. He’s not TA-level, but he’s also not TA on offense. TA’s jumper made Rondo look like Larry Bird.

  • Joe’s Momma

    @ Celts Fan

    Do you really believe Nate got benched for shooting on his own basket after the quarter ended? D’Antoni had Nate on a short leash and it had very little to do with that “shot”

    Watch NBA games this coming season and pay attention to end of quarters, after the quarter ends there are a lot of guys who shoot on their own basket, lots. What does it hurt? Did the other team get points, do you lose points? Nope, nothing happens. How is that unprofessional? How is that showing a lack of maturity?

    I will give you that is was a Playoff bonus, so if it wasn’t for Boston, he would have no shot at earning it. But NY was going to trade him, and he had a no trade claus, so it was playoff team or bust, he said no to a trade to Memphis. So they moved him to a playoff team, otherwise he is a distraction to the entire team.

    And Boston only went out and got Ray when KG refused to go to Boston the way the were constructed. If no Ray, no KG. But they are still being cost contious. That is 2 mil with the luxury tax, anyone would try to save that. They wouldn’t guarantee Posey a 4th year. They let Tony Allen walk. All cost saving moves. Not bashing it, just saying they are being aware of their $.

    You bring up that he didn’t know the offense, but that didn’t stop them from playing him when they first got him. They ran pick and roll with Nate all day, the day after they made the deal he was playing. But magically with 1 game left for him to get his money, all of a sudden they don’t know what they will get from him. That seems a bit fishy to me, no matter how much anyone argues against it.

    Nate aint gonna say nothing otherwise because he needs to be on his best behavior if he wants to play in the NBA.

    People act like D’Antoni is very vindictive. And he won’t ever win if he doesn’t coach defense. NY only brought him in to try to get LBJ, not that they got no shot, he will get fired before his contract is up.

  • Stunnaboy09

    Why the hate on Wafer? Did people not watch him light it up in Houston. I’m absolutely LOVING this, low risk high reward. He’s like a less streaky JR and that is what we need. If KG and co can turn Nate into a team player then they can atleast make Wafer bearable. Most importantly he can shoot the 3 extremely well thus giving us an option when Ray-Ray goes tot the bench.

    To me TA is a little overated, I eman he had amazing D but what he brought on that end he took away on offense. There has never been a player I am more afraid when he goes for a layup than TA.

    I can see the celtics rolling out an all bench lineup with Nate/Bradley/Wafer splitting guard minutes and Marquis (Hoping last year was a fluke), Big Baby and J.O (When Perk gets healthy) fillin out the rest.

  • karizmatic

    I actually think Wafer might be able to play a modicum of defense if he put his mind to it…the Celtics system may be exactly what he needs.

  • Anaconda

    Von Wafer Might Be Exactly WHOM The Celtics Need