Business has picked up on the free agent market in the past 24 hours, both with the Celtics and around the league as a whole, so let’s not waste anytime here and get you up to date with the latest happenings.
Let’s start with a quick refresher. In case you missed it, Marquis Daniels re-signed with the C’s in a one year deal for 2.4 million dollars last night. An unsurprising signing given the state of the wing market, where you could make the case that Daniels was the best player left available on the market (when healthy).
A one year deal was probably all Daniels was going to get anywhere at this point, so staying within the system and with a coach he likes in Doc was the way to go, knowing plenty of minutes would be back available with the departure of Tony Allen.
Smart signing by both sides. Now Marquis just needs to find a way to stay on the court. Also be sure to check out Zach Lowe’s terrific full analysis of Daniels season and future from last night.
With Quisy back in the fold and one wing spot settled, the C’s now appear to be turning their attention towards landing a shooter, something they desperately need coming off the pine. Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.com reports the Green has shown interest in Von Wafer, the former Rocket bench sparkplug from two years back, as well as small forward Jarvis Hayes. Kennedy was also first to report the TA signing with Memphis, so it appears he has strong sources close to the C’s, giving the report more credence.
Let’s start with some thoughts on Waver. The guy is a 25 year old 6-5 shooting guard out of Florida State, someone who had largely fallen off the radar in the NBA this past year. He tore it up two years back in Houston after bouncing around for a couple years around the league, putting up nearly 10 points in just 19 minutes a game, largely due to his 39 percent shooting from beyond the arc. He also played well in the playoffs this year, as the Rockets pushed the eventual Champs to 7 games.
Wafer cashed in on the solid campaign overseas, landing a 2 year/10 million dollar deal last season with Olympicacos in Greece. Things went awry overseas quickly however, leading Wafer to buy out of his contract in December 2009, in hopes of returning to the NBA with the Rockets.
The deal was signed with Houston, but Wafer’s back problems caused him to fail his physical and be left without a home for the remainder of the 09-10 season, minus a 10 day contract with Dallas, where he served as a practice player.
So in essence, we have a younger, athletic guy here that can score the ball well off the bench and by all accounts play some solid defense as well coming off a lost season. A minimum contract, as well as a promise of some playing team would likely get the job done for signing Wafer, something the C’s can offer him a chance at if they want him.
Wafer does come with some issues. He feuded a bit with Rick Adelman back in Houston at times and obviously the health issues have to be a concern. Again though, based on his shooting ability alone, Wager is one of the best guys available at his position.
A guy like Jarvis Hayes (29 years old), who the C’s are also reportedly interested in according to Sherrod Blakely, has the better track record than Wafer, with 7 “productive” seasons under his belt. Wafer though provides much better upside and scoring potential, something this team will desperately team if it wants to compete amongst the reloaded beasts of the East.
Weighting the risks and rewards of both guys, before making a decision is something Danny and company are no doubt debating before reaching a conclusion. The sooner, the better though given the landscape of this free agent market where the few quality players left have been flying off the shelves.
We start with Matt Barnes who came to terms with the Lakers, the contender with the most money to offer on a 2 year/3.6 million deal, with the 2nd year being a player option, according to ESPN.com.
We’ve covered Barnes plenty here and he would have been a nice backup 3 for this squad. The truth is, he still is a guy who has bounced around the league for a reason, he’s a good player but a flawed one, so no one around the league will lost any sleep on it.
The Lakers bench rotation though, their main weakness last year, is beginning to come together though with a rotation of Steve Blake, Barnes, Lamar Odom and newly signed big man Theo Ratliff, who came to terms with LA for the veteran’s minimum, according to David Aldridge via Twitter.
Ratliff, best remembered here for his expiring contract potential actually was a useful player for the Bobcats last year, starting at center for much of the year. With the C’s still in need for another big body due to Perk’s injury, Ratliff appeared to be a candidate before the Lakers bounced on him to help shore up their backup frontcourt. Two smart moves by the contending champs, these past two days.
Speaking of smart moves, the Bulls made another one yesterday, agreeing to a two-year deal with Kurt Thomas with the second year reportedly being a team option. The veteran Thomas was another hopeful veteran minimum’s candidate for the C’s as a 4th-5th big, but coming off a very productive year in Milwaukee last season, he obviously earned himself a bit more than that, as the Bulls attempt to round out their bench and big man rotation after Brad Miller left town.
Between Thomas and Joakim Noah, Chicago will have plenty of agitators in their frontcourt this year. Expect things to get chippy with them and their opponents early and often.
Finally, in some minor news wingman Antoine Wright signed a deal with Sacramento yesterday as well, another possible signing candidate, though more in the mold of Daniels, making targeting Wright a bit redundant.
That’s all for now, we will keep you posted on the latest comings and goings throughout the weekend. The question for now I guess, if you have to choose one; Wafer or Hayes?
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