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Questions on The Wing: Should C’s Have Gone Safer?

 

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?

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    fair enough question. but i really like the wafer signing. they need that offensive spark in the 2nd unit. why can’t he become our jr smith? bogans and mason can’t bring that. and the spurs aren’t ones to cast off reliable role players making league min without reason.

    of course, wafer might blow up and be gone, but its worth the risk….you can usually pick up a mason or bogans type player before the deadline.

  • David

    I like the wing move that Danny has made as I see Wafer as a low-risk high-reward signing who will get a chance to provide good athletic defense and superior offense as a replacement for TA. If Wafer doesn’t work out, then Danny call fill the TA void at the trade deadline using Rasheed’s contract.

  • http://www.livefromapt.blogspot.com w2

    I agree that Wafer is an unknown. If this were two years ago and this guy was coming in after his solid year in Houston then we would be “Rudy Fernandez” thrilled to get him at this money But instead he has bounced around and we have not seen his game recently.

    The bottom line…trust in Danny. We have made runs deep into the playoffs the last three years so my faith is with the braintrust.

  • Berkcelt

    No, I will take Wafer over those guys. The Cs went plenty safe anyway by only guaranteeing $150,000 of VW’s contract (per Sham). They’ve got good flexibility to bring in another wing if necessary.

  • mike

    i’ll take wafer…he’s playing for a payday, so he’ll have to be relatively behaved…he offers more athletic ability than mason and bogans (or at least more than just bombing 3′s) and he may be a guy that can contribute down the road as well…

  • http://www.politicaldeathmatch.org Harrison_Bergeron

    I wish they hadn’t re-signed Daniels. My reasoning may seem a little odd, but here it is: He has long dreads. There are no good NBA players with long dreads. Good players who grow dreads become bad players. Think I’m off-base here? Consider: Pervis Ellison, Renaldo Balkman, Trenton Hassel, Brian Grant, even Daniels himself. The longer his dreads get, the less value he is to his team and the worse he plays.

    I don’t know exactly why that is, or why it doesn’t apply to football, but the fact remains that there are no NBA players with long dreads worth having on your team.

  • Jay P

    Agree with Berkcelt, given the fact that only $150k is guarantee, it was the right move.

    If he works out, great, you keep him on. If not, you can easily shed the deal and pick something up come trade deadline.

    I think Danny is perfectly fine with starting the year as it is right now. Possibly sending Sheed’s deal out for a trade exception, freeing a roster spot and letting Oliver/Gaff fight for the 15th spot. Then come trade deadline, you have the exception to use, and can waive either Wafer’s deal if he doesn’t pan out, or whatever Rookie you kept in that 15th spot to open up a spot and bring in another wing.

    If HOU and Phoenix aren’t in the playoff picture come trade deadline, I have a hard team believing they wont look to unload Battier and Hill.

  • Perry

    But Wafer can’t be moved until December, and he’s low man on the depth chart, so I see Brian’s point. Jermaine was signed to replace Perk. Then by all accounts signing Erden, and now Shaq indicated all along that Sheed was retiring. So the Celtics have answered the question of ‘will he or won’t he’ because when Perk returns there would have been a logjam for minutes with Sheed in a Celtic uniform. As Zach pointed out it’s just too many bodies in the front court. Chances are Danny has been having a hard time moving the contract or he thought it would have been moved sooner. But Shaq was out there, so it wasn’t much of leap to scoop him up at the veteran minimum … hence, this is where we are.

    The best set of circumstances would be a straight up deal, but for whom? It might better to wait until the trade deadline for when teams get really desperate. Erden is the odd man out or at least will be in street clothes if everyone’s healthy come the regular season. So he is expendable, and may make sense for a team like Portland. Camby, Pzybila, and Odom are injury prone … and they have our answer in Fernandez, which will take at least a #1. He may not put us over the top, but his addition would give us the skill and depth needed at the wing. Then we can really make a splash come the second half of the season.

  • Jay P

    @Perry

    Rudy still can’t guard the 3, so you’re in the same situation. Granted he’s a proven scorer at SG, but it doesn’t solve the teams depth problems at SF.

    I just don’t understand all the hype with Rudy, you’re basically just talking about a guy who’s a more proven version of Von Wafer, and slightly more athletic (dudes got hops, I’ll give him that.)

    But he’s way too small to guard strong SFs.

  • Perry

    @JayP

    It might all be moot because according to Jeff Van Gundy the Heat will win more than 72 games, challenge the 71-72′ Lakers’s 33 game winning streak, and never lose two games in a row. So why even show up at the gym?

  • the-facts

    Are kidding me, the von wafer signing is great. he’s going to give the celtics a lot of offense from bench. last year we had to get second unit offense from tony allen and daniels. that didn’t help us at all. if we can bring rudy or hughes in, that would be great.

  • Perry

    @JayP

    Quis can defend 3′s, and Rudy’s price tag is so desirable. Do you spend a bit more on a 25-yeard old who can potentially replace Ray Allen or settle on a veteran like Hughes whose game is in decline?

  • Jeff

    Love the Wafer signing. My only regret will be after this year, when the C’s win the title and VW is a big part of the bench in doing it…that he will go somewhere else for bigger money and we will lose out on him.

    This kid is good, real good, when healthy. Which explains that only $150k is guaranteed. He will bring the energy and athleticism off the bench needed to run alongside Nate with the second unit.

    It will be exciting to see those two with Quis or Bradley on the floor. Throw in Davis and you’ve got HUGE upside! Granted some risk but you never win without some risk attached.

    Lakers took a risk with Artest, C’s took one with bringing the big three together, MIA took one bringing in Shaq when they won, Spurs have done it with RJ. You have to take risks in order to win consistently.

    MIA is taking a risk bringing all three players together, who may not be able to share the spotlight. But the reward could be tremendous.

  • Hey you!

    gody will get us to the finals…

    if they sign and dress him

    shaq is washed up

  • Eugene

    What do you guys think about Danny trying to swing a trade for Tayshaun Prince? I think the salaries for a Price for Sheed/Big Baby would work. I LOVE big baby, but he is only under contract through next year, and I am not a cap expert, but it doesnt look like we will be able to offer him too much more than the 3.3 he is making this year……meaning if he has a big year, he is as good as gone. I wouldnt hate that trade if it were to ever happen….

  • Perry

    @Eugene

    It’s a good question for the trade deadline. There is no way Davis will be traded now because it would leave the front court a valuable man short. At the trade deadline Detroit will almost certainly be headed to the lottery, and they have new ownership coming in. I can definitely see Prince being an option since most of his salary would have been paid by the Pistons, and this is his final year of his contract. I don’t know if his fully salary would translate in terms of cap hold going into 2011-12, and at 30 years old I wonder what kind of commitment he’d get long term, but he would be real asset in the post season.

  • legs-diamond

    Von Wafer has great upside, especially if we have faith in the Celtics system to make a believer out of him.

  • yoki

    Von signing is great. For the vet. minimum we had a player with adequate size, athleticism and shooting which he showed when he was in Houston. He may had some setbacks but I think he’s ready to prove himself. And if he becomes a nutcase then he can get the boot. Safe and a really high reward signing.

    I’d take Von than Rudy anyday if these situations presents. Why give up draft picks when we have a guy who can pretty much do what we’re looking for for Rudy anyways.

  • lakershater13

    @Harrison

    I would agree if Bosh didnt at one point have dreads.

  • Roman, Germany

    We should have gone safer than Wafer :)

  • http://www.politicaldeathmatch.org Harrison_Bergeron

    @lakershater:

    Yeah, but they never got longer than shoulder length. And, he didn’t exactly have his best season last year, although that could largely be attributed to the crappiness of his team. I’m a little disappointed he cut them off, I wanted to see if he’d be able to defy this rule.

  • Rav

    @ Harrison

    His best season was last year, 24-11

    I would have preferred we keep Tony Allen, ditched Quisy and got a wing worth the MLE, or at least Wafer/Roger mason

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