Wafer inks deal with Italian team
August, 4, 2011
Von Wafer has agreed to a deal to play for Italian team Vanoli Cremona, according to his agent. Wafer, an unrestricted free agent who spent the 2010-11 season with the Celtics, secured a coveted opt-out clause and will be able to return stateside should the lockout end during the international season.
Elsa/Getty ImagesVon Wafer is off to Italy during the NBA lockout.
Wafer averaged 3.2 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.6 assists over 9.5 minutes per game last season. He appeared in 58 games for Boston and seemed to be asserting himself before a late-season calf injury limited his playing time into the playoffs.
Last month, Wafer's agent, Terrance Doyle of the Veritas Venture Group, suggested his client would be interested in a return engagement with the Celtics.
"Von would love to be back [with Boston]," Doyle said of the 6-foot-5 swingman who has played for seven teams since being drafted by the Lakers in the second round (35th overall) of the 2005 draft. "He's never gotten that opportunity to go back with a team."
Wafer signed a one-year, non-guaranteed deal with the Celtics last August and fended off numerous charges at his roster spot and endured a locker room dust-up with teammate Delonte West to stick for the entire campaign. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge often voiced praise for Wafer and he would seemingly be a candidate to fill out the end of the Boston bench next season should the team need a depth swingman.
This will be Wafer's second voyage overseas. He chased an international payday following a breakout season with the Houston Rockets in 2009, but soon parted ways with Greek squad Olympiakos. After earning $915,852 on a minimum contract last season (and roughly $3 million in NBA contracts over six seasons), this overseas opportunity allows Wafer to earn some cash and keep sharp while waiting for the owners and players to work out a new collective bargaining agreement.
Venoli Cremona competes in Italy's Lega Serie A, the same highly regarded league that Celtics second-round draft pick E'Twaun Moore is set to join (Moore signed with Benetton Treviso last month).