Apparently Von Wafer is now signing with Rockets, though rumor has it that it may only be on a 10-day contract. Wafer and rookie Chase Budinger fill similar roles, so this is somewhere between a "what the hell" and "I hate history" moment.
The Memphis Commercial Appeal is reporting that the Memphis Grizzlies put guard Von Wafer through physicals today and could announce his signing as soon as this afternoon. Both parties interest has been acknowledged by multiple sources for over a week, though it now appears that Von Wafer will join the team sometime this week.
Von Wafer is a 6 foot 5 inch tall shooting guard who specializes in just what his job description belies -- shooting. Wafer is known to be occasionally explosive off the bench; as last season with the Rockets he was readily able to get his own shot and sink it at will on many nights.
That being said, Von Wafer doesn't just have a reputation as an explosive scorer, but also as an explosive locker room influence. While Wafer seemed to fit in well for the bulk of the season last year, he shouted at Rocket's coachRick Adelman in the playoffs and was immediately expelled from the team. The Rockets made little to no effort to bring Wafer back this season.
Of course snap reactions to the prospect of adding Von Wafer are over the jump, and be sure to add your own comments as well.
Another downside to Von Wafer is his oftentimes questionable shot selection. Like most scoring guards who primarily rely on their jumper, Wafer oftentimes looks out of control and will do nothing to improve the shortage of assists for the Grizzlies. His game is actually fairly comparable to O.J. Mayo, which could be a bad thing (lack of a "change of pace") or a good thing (consistency) for Memphis
And then, piled on top of those negatives, there is the question of playing time. The Grizzlies starters are logging enormous minutes, so it wouldn't seem like carving out a few minutes would be a struggle. The problem, however, is that the Grizz's bench has proven itself too terrible inefficient to warrant taking back any of those minutes from the starters if Memphis wants to keep winning.
Adding Von Wafer could improve this problem, yes, but I'm not sure how much better he is than Sam Young. With Wafer the Grizzlies would have a full lineup off the bench -- Jamaal Tinsley, Von Wafer, Sam Young, DeMarre Carroll, and Hasheem Thabeet. Consider me skeptical, however, that this lineup is good enough to play together without support from the starters.
Still, every bit of support off the bench will help this team, who, as Kevin Pelton has pointed out, can't keep relying on Sam Young as their primary backup scorer. His efficiency is simply too poor too rely on, especially since his shooting stroke is clearly not NBA ready from 3-point range.
Von Wafer will give the Grizzlies significantly more shooting and offense, but fans need to hope that Coach Hollins's magic is going to need to keep him playing a positive role just like the Grizzlies last two productive castaways, Jamaal Tinsley and Zach Randolph.