The last thing you want when fighting for a roster spot is a tweaked ankle. That said, if Wafer really has been impressing all of the right people both on and off the court, the spot should be his. If it comes down to Wafer and Tony Gaffney, as I expect it will, Wafer’s undeniably the more developed talent. He’s already been a valuable sixth man in the NBA. He’s athletic, can shoot, and isn’t a bad defender. As Paul Pierce told the Boston Globe, “”I think he’s going to be an X-factor type of guy, who can give us a lift.”
Unlike Gaffney, Wafer isn’t really somebody to root for. He clashed with Rick Adelman. Left his Greek team after bumping heads with Coach Panagiotis Giannakis. Couldn’t find work last year when he returned to the NBA. Then again, maybe he IS someone to root for. Everybody loves the underdog, right? And Von Wafer has done a nice job turning himself into an underdog. If he can turn around his attitude and impress the coaches, Wafer earned his spot and our love. Especially now that he’s being forced to suck up his ego and run with the third team in practice.
The competition for 15th man will likely become Wafer’s well-rounded offensive game vs. Gaffney’s length and defensive tenacity. I just hope Wafer’s ankle has no effect on the results.