Former UMass forward Tony Gaffney has signed with the Boston Celtics. The team will make the announcement official Tuesday at noon. Gaffney confirmed the details to abc40 via text message early Tuesday morning.
Gaffney, who averaged 11.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game during his senior season at UMass, began his college career at Boston University before transferring. He was in camp with the Lakers, before being the last one cut. He then signed in Israel, but his season there was derailed by a broken foot.
Gaffney, who was third in the nation in blocks as a senior at UMass, is known for his hustle and defense but is not a complete offensive player by any stretch of the imagination. It is possible he could dress for tonight’s game against Chicago.
Here is Gaffney’s DraftExpress profile, including a scouting report from the Portsmouth Invitational (an invite-only draft showcase for the top 64 seniors in college basketball).
Though Gaffney didn’t put up a terribly productive stat line today, he displayed some very interesting tools. Mostly known in college for his tremendous defensive presence and effort level, Gaffney wasn’t asked to do much scoring for UMass, making the most of the touches he earned coming from his hustle and ability to run the floor. While he has played well defensively in both of the games he’s played in, he showed some offensive promise that his collegiate role didn’t give him the opportunity to showcase. Looking beyond the box score, we came away intrigued with what we saw today.
A very athletic forward with a slender frame, Gaffney exploited his excellent quickness on a couple of occasions today, beating his defender off the dribble on three memorable occasions. Not usually prone to putting the ball on the floor, his ability to get to the rim was quite impressive. Once in the lane, Gaffney used quick fakes to get his man off balance before spinning over his left shoulder for hook shots. Considering his length and quickness, it is safe to say that Gaffney has a lot of potential if he continues to diversify his offensive game.
On the defensive end, Gaffney has shown great versatility, looking capable when defending the post and the perimeter. Though he will need to continue to add weight to his frame to be a better interior defender moving forward, he shows the timing, awareness, and effort level to be very effective in this setting. He may not be an NBA player, but he’s clearly helped himself here.