The 2010-11 Boston Celtic roster is taking shape a lot faster than any of us could have imagined. The team is on the verge of having 14 players signed to guaranteed contracts once the Shaquille O’Neal deal becomes official tomorrow, and Luke Harangody looks to be a shoe-in for that 15th spot on the roster, based almost solely on his stand out Summer League performance.
Despite this logjam on the roster, the C’s still have needs to be addressed, primarily on the wing. There is a reason you keep hearing Larry Hughes name pop up in Celtics circles, primarily because the C’s still need another guy at the spot before this offseason is said and done.
If Harangody signs, then a roster spot will have to be freed (likely Sheed’s) in order to bring in additional help at the 2-3 spot, that much remains clear. Who the C’s bring in at that spot is not my main concern today though. My question is simply based on the guy the C’s have already brought in at the wing spot to help fill the void in Von Wafer, and whether they should have gone a safer route on the wing? You see, I was fully on board with the signing a couple weeks back, but that’s before a couple other dominoes on the free agent wing market fell last week, notably Roger Mason and Keith Bogans. Both guys signed for the league minimum, with New York and Chicago respectively.
The fact Mason could have been had at such a reduced prize came as a bit of a surprise to me. He undoubtedly had a very down year last season, shooting just 39 percent from the field and 33 percent from deep, yet he is still young (29) and has the track record that Wafer lacks as a 38 percent career shooter from beyond the arc.
Bogans, Mason’s teammate last year with San Antonio was another guy who stood out to me as a potential signing. A plus defender, he definitely lacks offensive versatility, moonlighting strictly as a 3 point specialist 9at an average one at that) while starting most of the season last year for the Spurs, given 2/3’s of his shot attempts were 3 balls.
There’s no doubt Von Wafer has more potential, especially offensively than both Mason and Bogans. He’s still very young, can shoot the 3 ball, and has great athleticism.
That being said, Wafer also lacks the solid NBA track record Mason and Bogans bring to the table, has had multiple run-ins with coaches, and has had numerous injury issues in the last year or two, failing two physicals last year in his attempt to re-join the NBA. With Marquis Daniels as your second wing, more potential health concerns is the last thing you want from your other backup wingman.
All things considered, I guess my question boils down to this: Does any part of you wish the team had gone with a guy like Mason or Bogans instead of Wafer? A player with a lot less upside, but is more of a sure thing at this stage of their career? I’m not saying I would, but the question has entered my mind.
The C’s are taking a lot of calculated risks this offseason and ultimately that’s why they need to do to have a chance to compete with Miami. Was the Wafer signing a situation where they took one when they didn’t have to?