|07.31.10 at 2:08 pm ET|
‘I just hope to help the team,’ Wafer told SLAM. ‘I’m all about the team first. I want to do anything I can to help make this a better team. Coach Rivers said, ‘If you’re not going to be a team player I don’t want you here.’ So I’m just gonna do my best to help make us a stronger group.’
Wafer, a 25-year-old guard, confirmed to SLAM that he has agreed to play for the Celtics next season. He spent time playing overseas last season. Now he is embracing the opportunity to return to the NBA ‘¦ and a contender.
‘I wasn’t always sure I’d be back,’ says Wafer. ‘It’s unbelievable. I’m just so happy to be back. I’m just so happy.’
Wafer was drafted by the Lakers in 2005. He most recently averaged 12.4 points in 19.4 minutes for the Rockets during the 2008-09 season.
Click here for the entire SLAM story.
|07.29.10 at 8:28 pm ET|
Von Wafer is a 6-5 shooting guard who does one thing well: shoot 3-pointers, and according to Hoops World he will be doing it for the Celtics this season. Wafer made 39 percent of his 3’s with the Rockets in 2008-09 when he appeared in 63 games and played over 1,200 minutes. Wafer also made 45 percent of his 3’s in his one extended season in the Development league in 2007.
He was drafted by the Lakers in 2005 and has had cameo NBA appearances in each of the last five seasons (Dallas signed him to a 10-day contract this past season but he didn’t see any action). After his breakthrough season with the Rockets, which included scoring 14 points and making a late shot to beat the Celtics — Wafer signed with Olympiakos Piraeus in the Euro League.
Wafer was bought out of his contract only a few months into the deal and he appeared headed back to the NBA, but he reportedly failed physicals with the Grizzlies and Rockets. He spent the summer training in his hometown of Louisiana and declared himself healthy. It’s still unclear what caused Wafer to fail his physical, but he has had back issues in the past.
Wafer also clashed with Rockets coach Rick Adelman about playing time and was sent to the locker room during a playoff game, for which he later apologized.
All of that makes this an interesting addition for the Celtics. His shooting ability will certainly be a plus for a bench that could use some. If he can accept his role and do it without complaint then this move has solid potential. If not, then it’s still a reasonable low-cost gamble for a player with an obvious skill.
Wafer gives the Celtics 13 players under contract with second round pick Luke Harangody expected to become the 14th shortly. They also have Tony Gaffney and Oliver Lafayette on non-guaranteed deals. Counted in those 13 contracts players is Rasheed Wallace, whose situation remains in limbo.
|07.29.10 at 12:08 pm ET|
Former Celtics guard Eddie House has reached an agreement to join the revamped Heat lineup, House’s agent Mark Bartelstein told Yahoo! Sports. House was traded from the C’s to the Knicks for Nate Robinson last season. Bartelstein said this week that he had talked to the Celtics about the possibility of the 10-year veteran returning to Boston, but the sharpshooter will take his talents to Miami instead, agreeing to a two-year deal worth a reported $2.8 million.
|07.28.10 at 11:17 pm ET|
The rumor mill has been buzzing with reports of the Celtics being in the mix to acquire Trail Blazers guard Rudy Fernandez, who is reportedly unhappy with his current role behind Brandon Roy. But the talks may quiet down until next week.
On Wednesday Jason Quick of the Oregonian tweeted, ‘Rudy trade talks likely on back burner until Sunday. GM Cho tells agent Andy Miller he will meet w/coach McMillan in Vegas on Sun to discuss.’
That doesn’t mean, though, that speculation will be curbed until then. On Tuesday, Fernandez wrote in his blog, “There is gossip about my future and everyone asks me but I’m really just focused on the national team right now.”
In the meantime, here is a glimpse into why Fernandez is drawing interest around the league:
Fernandez has two years remaining on his contract and is set to earn $1.25 million next season. He averaged 8.1 points and 2.0 assists in 62 games last season.
|07.28.10 at 3:40 pm ET|
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was among 15 players to make the cut for Team USA’s squad on Wednesday. Here is the roster:
Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets); Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers); Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers); Jeff Green (Oklahoma City Thunder); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers); Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).
Asked whether he felt Rondo was an unconventional choice for international play, coach Mike Krzyzewski defended his selection.
“He’s unconventionally become an NBA champion and a triple double guy in this league. I think he’s an adequate shooter for us,” Krzyzewski said. “He did well shooting the ball in the camp. The thing that Rondo does is he plays with a will to win and he just finds ways to have a positive impact on the game. I really like that about him.”
|07.28.10 at 10:05 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he was “leaning heavily” toward taking a sabbatical after this past season, because he was “spent” after the draining campaign and he wanted to spend more time with his family.
In an interview with ESPN’s Andy Katz at a high school tournament in Orlando where his son was playing, Rivers said of the Celtics’ injury plagued, up-and-down 2009-10 season: “It was just a tough year, literally a tough year.”
Despite the Celtics coming within a quarter of winning the NBA title, Rivers said after the season, “I was spent,” adding, “I was most likely leaning heavily the other way ‘ more because of [watching sons Austin and Spencer play].”
Rivers said when the season ended, he was “pretty much done, and Danny [Ainge] knew that.” He said he called coaching legends Pat Riley and Larry Brown for reassurance before committing to returning. “It was very helpful,” he said. “They’ve all been through it.”
Rivers said he consulted with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, then free agents, as well. “I wasn’t coming back unless they were coming back,” Rivers said. “I was first, and I thought that was important for them. We all talked. I can tell you that. I made sure. I knew they had to do their business. And Ray scared me a little bit with the money out there. They had said they were coming back and then you see what everyone was getting.”
Rivers signed for one year and still is considering a sabbatical as an option in the future.
“I’m just doing it year to year,” Rivers said. “Danny was great. [Co-owner] Wyc [Grousbeck] offered a long-term deal, but I didn’t think it was fair to them. I didn’t want to walk out of a contract.”
|07.27.10 at 3:25 pm ET|
Dale & Holley welcomed ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard Tuesday afternoon to talk about all things basketball this offseason, including the topics of LeBron James, the Celtics‘ offseason pickups and re-signings and Doc Rivers possibly returning for more than one season.
‘If they have a great season, maybe win the championship, I do think that there would be a lot of pull to return to the franchise,’ Broussard said of the coach. ‘I think he’s doing the right thing, I think it’s a fluid situation and he’s leaving his options open, so I’m not too surprised to hear Doc say that.’
Below are highlights. To listen to the full interview click on the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
On when he figured out that LeBron James would be leaving Cleveland:
It’s interesting, because throughout that whole process there were a lot of people close to LeBron who wanted him to stay in Cleveland, and it’s not a smokescreen, to my knowledge. I would have believed he was trying to get Chris Bosh to go there. Toronto agreed to do a sign and trade, LeBron was trying to sell Bosh on coming to Cleveland and being his second guy. If he was able to do that, then I think LeBron would have stayed in Cleveland.
And then of course, LeBron was also trying to talk to Chris Paul. They were trying to figure out a way Chris Paul could be traded to Cleveland. If one of those two things happened, then I think LeBron would have stayed because there was a part him that wanted to stay, that understood legacy. [Michael] Jordan turned a terrible franchise into a champion, Isiah Thomas did it. You hear it, even in the criticism about LeBron’s decision, that the great ones always stay with one team.
He understood that and wanted to stay, a part of him did, but when he realized they couldn’t get that second guy, and then you looked down the road [he asked] ‘Would I be able to ever get that second guy here? It’s been seven years and it hasn’t happened.’ That’s when he really had to say, ‘You know what? I may have to go.’
Now, Chicago was always very strong in consideration and Miami with their situation was always right there too, but I really think he gave Cleveland a legitimate shot. Finally, when Bosh made it clear that [he] was going to Miami with [Dwyane] Wade, that’s when LeBron realized he wasn’t going to be able to get anybody [in Cleveland]. Can [he] get through Boston what they’re going to do in Miami, Chicago and the Lakers, other teams, like Orlando, without that second guy. He had to go make sure that he had a couple of star teammates.
On the Celtics’ offseason strategy of re-signing their veterans:
I think they’ve done well. The Jermaine O’Neal move was a good one. I know they hate to lose Tony Allen, his defense was critical down the stretch, but I think they should move on without him. I’ve got to admit, I was among the surprised when they played so well in the playoffs, so I do wonder if they’ve got enough left to reach the finals again next year.
I was just talking about with age and things like that. You wonder two years from now, they’re going to be old and pretty much done with that. With [Rajon] Rondo, who’s developing into an All-Star and they’ve got a few other young guys, but that’s my only worry, I think they did what they had to do. I think it’s the right thing to go ahead and try to take one more shot at it. My pick is Miami in the East, but I think the Celtics will be right there.
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