The Boston Celtics have signed Oliver Lafayette from the D-League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Lafayette, a 6’2″, 190 lb. guard who played his college ball at Houston, averaged 17.1 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.6 rebounds in 48 games for Fort Wayne this season. He scored a season-high 34 points and dished 8 assists against the Maine Red Claws on March 16.
Like the other newest Celtic Tony Gaffney (who my roommate — an avid UMass fan — texted me will be the x-factor to counteract Sheed’s laziness), Lafayette should be eligible for the postseason but doesn’t seem likely to see much time on the active list.
It seems odd that the Celtics have signed two fringe players with only two games remaining in the regular season. I can only imagine they have been intrigued by the players all season and would like to insure that they play on the Celtics’ team in the summer league. I don’t think we’ll see them get much, or maybe any, playing time, but either — or maybe both — could help out next season.
Plus, maybe they’ll sign me next. I’m a 6’2″, 195 lb. shooting guard with negative athletic ability. I can shoot, though.
UPDATE: Here’s a breakdown of Lafayette from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants’ team president, Jeff Potter.
Oliver Lafayette is not a name that jumps out at people, but he has been unbelievable the past few weeks and is a real stat stuffer. Here are his numbers for the month of March: 22 ppg, 6.5 apg, and 5 rpg. During our last seven games, where we have won six of those games, Oliver has been at his best. During that stretch, he is averaging 24.15 ppg, 8.58 apg, and 5 rpg.
And, impressively, he has been doing that against excellent competition in Keith Mcleod, Cedric Jackson, Jackie Manuel (one of the best defenders in the league), and Russell Robinson. I think, most impressively, he is finishing games well. In other words, when the game is near the end, he is invariably making plays that get us the win, and I think that separates him from being just another guy scoring 20 in a losing effort.
Further, beyond his offensive prowess, he has done a great job defensively. He is clearly the best help defender that we have had in our three years — he just has a knack for being in the right spot at the right time, and he should be lauded for that. Not sure if he will get a call up, but I hope he starts to get into the conversation with how well he has played recently.
Of course, take all that with a grain of salt, as his own team’s president is likely to have at least a bit of bias.