Feb 22, 2010, 8:53 AM EDT
The Dallas Mavericks are very close to brining gunner fan-favorite gunner Von Wafer back into the NBA.
Dallas worked him out and now all Wafer has to do is pass his physical, according to Art Garcia. Normally this is just a formality — he’s a 24-year-old, well-conditioned NBA player, how is he going to fail a physical? But he already did back in December when the Rockets were looking at him. No official reason was given although Wafer has had back problems recently.
Maybe he took up smoking while playing for Olympiakos in Greece, where he signed to start this season after no NBA team wanted him. That he had to go overseas for a good deal is a testament to Wafer’s sulking attitude and complaints, because on the court he was coming off the best of his four NBA seasons, averaging 9.3 points per game in 63 appearances for the Rockets. In the playoffs he gave them a boost off the bench with 8.2 points per game and 40.9 percent shooting from three. Yet they let him walk rather than deal with him again.
In Greece, they cut him from his two-year, $10 million deal because he was shooting 36 percent and scoring three points a game. He seemed unable to adjust to the European style of play.
Because he can shoot, Wafer has been a fan favorite from his first stop as a Laker through the Rockets. But he has clashed everywhere he has gone — with Phil Jackson in Los Angeles to Rick Adelman in Houston. Wafer can shoot, but there are a lot of guys who can shoot and replacing a one-dimensional game is not that hard, so why put up with the attitude?
We’ll see how he does in Dallas. If he can pass the physical.
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