Celtics guarantee Wafer, West contracts

191544.jpg

Celtics guarantee Wafer, West contracts

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - Von Wafer found out that his contract was guaranteed by the Boston Celtics from a reporter before Wednesdays game against the San Antonio Spurs.

In this case, no news from the organization was good news.

Every time Ive been called to go to the gym it hasnt been good, so thats good, he joked.

The Celtics picked up the contracts of Wafer and Delonte West, maintaining depth on their bench.

For Wafer, this means a sense of stability in an unstable career that has seen him play for six NBA teams since being drafted in 2005.

He made a case for himself on Monday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves by posting 10 points and 6 rebounds in 16 minutes. It was a testament to the team-first basketball he has embraced this season with the Celtics.

"He earned it; he earned the right to be here, said coach Doc Rivers. He's contributed to our wins, even before he was playing. He was really working at being a better player everyday in practice. He's been good.

Now that Wafer has locked in his spot, he looks to stay focused by surrounding himself with family. He plans to have his mother and brother move up from Virginia and hopes his 3-year-old daughter can spend some time in Boston as well.

Its going to be big. Its going to help because I dont really like to be alone, he said. I really wanted to kind of try to get a better focus and I thought that would help if I had my mom and my brother with me because Id just spend time with them instead of doing other things.

Wafer quickly learned that he would have to buy into the Celtics system if he wanted to play. Now that he has, he is looks forward to whats to come playing team ball.

Im just excited because I know I can get a lot better, he said. I know I can do a lot more, but Im just going to play my role and do what I have to do for us to get these Ws.

Follow Jessica Camerato on Twitter at http:www.twitter.comjcameratonba

Blakely: Thomas isn't a starter, but new All-Star voting is an improvement

Blakely: Thomas isn't a starter, but new All-Star voting is an improvement

BOSTON – There’s certainly some disappointment among Celtics Nation that Isaiah Thomas just missed out on being an All-Star starter in the East.

But one thing we can certainly see with the new voting system … it works way better than the old way of choosing starters.

This was the first year that the NBA decided to allow current NBA players as well as a select panel of media choose who the starting five in the Eastern and Western Conferences would be.

The fan vote would count for 50 percent while media and players would each represent 25 percent of the final tally.

From there, the players would receive a fan ranking, a media ranking and a player ranking.

Because of the aforementioned breakdown – fans count for 50 percent while media and players represent 25 percent of the vote – the fan ranking would be counted twice while the media and player rankings would be counted once.

Let’s look at Isaiah Thomas’ situation which ultimately came down to him and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan for the final starting spot in the backcourt.

Thomas was fourth in the fan voting, second in the player voting and first among guards in the media voting. So when you add the fan voting (4 *2) + player voting (2 *1) + media voting (1*1), you get a total of 11 which is then divided by 4 to arrive at a score of 2.75.

Now let’s look at DeRozan.

He was third in the fan voting, third in the player ranking and second in the media voting among guards. So his score when you add the fan voting (3*2) + player voting (3*1) + media voting (2*1), you get a total of 11 which when divided by 4 brings you to a score of 2.75 – same as Thomas.

The tiebreaker was the fan vote which meant DeRozan and not Thomas, would get the starting nod in next month’s All-Star game.

As much as it may suck that Thomas lost out because of this system, he would not have had a shot at being a starter under the old system in which the fans were the ones to pick starters.

In fact, it would have been Chicago’s Dwyane Wade in the starting lineup under the old system.

No disrespect to D-Wade, but he has not had an All-Star worthy season. And had the old system been in place, he would be an all-star and thus take up a roster spot of another player who frankly, is more deserving.

And if you take a glance out West, they too would have had a starter who has not had an All-Star caliber season.

Golden State’s Zaza Pachulia finished second in the voting among Western Conference forwards, fueled in large part to his home country, Georgia, voting early and often for him. Because of the media and player voting, Pachulia wound up sixth among Western Conference big men which is still too high when you consider some of the players behind him – Memphis’ Marc Gasol, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan – who are all having better seasons.

While no one would say this new system is perfect, considering how this year’s voting would have panned out under the old rules, this change by the league is a good one that should stick around.

NOTE: I was among the media panelists selected by the NBA to vote for this year’s All-Star starters. My selections in the East were Cleveland’s LeBron James, Kevin Love and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo in the frontcourt with Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and Boston’s Isaiah Thomas in the backcourt. My Western Conference selections were Kevin Durant of Golden State, Anthony Davis of New Orleans and Kawhi Leonard of San Antonio in the frontcourt, with Houston’s James Harden and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook in the backcourt.