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.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.