Von Wafer

And-Ones: Silver, Wafer, Restricted Free Agents

NBA commissioner Adam Silver doesn’t believe the one-and-one contracts that LeBron James and Kevin Durant have signed are good for the league, according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. The arrangements give the players one guaranteed season with the chance to opt out and sign a bigger deal the following year. Durant did it to gain the benefits of being a 10-year veteran when he hits free agency again next summer. James is also maximizing his earnings, while giving the Cavaliers incentive to put the best possible team around him each season.

“One of the unintended consequences I feel on behalf of the players is the fact that they end up putting themselves in this position where they’re taking enormous financial risk,” Silver said. “The system is designed for guys to enter into long term contracts, so, and you can only get so much insurance. So one of the unintended consequences is they take risk beyond what we would like to see them take.” After a month that saw several stars change teams, the commissioner said he would like to work with the union to modify the system to give franchises a better opportunity to keep their own players.

There’s more NBA-related news this morning:

  • Von Wafer, who last played in the NBA in 2012, is campaigning for another shot on social media, relays Kurt Helin of NBCSports.com. Wafer, who just turned 31, had short stints with the Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets, Blazers, Rockets, Celtics and Magic, but never lasted more than one season in any location. In a series of tweets, Wafer says he has a different mentality now and warns younger players not to follow his example.
  • Restricted free agency typically sours the relationship between players and their teams, writes Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders. Because teams are reluctant to tie up cap space for three days while waiting to see if offer sheets are matched, restricted free agents are typically at the end of the line when it comes to getting paid. Also, they often build up resentment toward their original franchise if their offer sheets are matched. As examples, Lang cites Jeff Teague, Nicolas Batum, Paul Millsap, Eric Gordon, Roy Hibbert, Marcin Gortat and DeAndre Jordan.

Atlantic Notes: Dunleavy, Felton, Nurse

There aren’t any teams from the Atlantic Division remaining in the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing happening along the east coast. Let’s take a quick look at the latest from around the division:

  • Mike Dunleavy met with Phil Jackson to discuss the Knicks head coaching job, sources confirmed to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com. Dunleavy isn’t the leading candidate, Broussard says, but he remains a possible hire nonetheless.
  • Reports have surfaced that Jackson notified Raymond Felton that the Knicks intend to trade him this summer, and Keith Schlosser of Knicks Journal examines whether or not that would be a good move for the team.
  • Former Celtics shooting guard Von Wafer has signed a contract to play in China, reports Enea Trapani of Sportando. Wafer hasn’t played in NBA game since 2011/12, when he appeared in 33 contests for the Magic.
  • There are rumors suggesting that Raptors assistant coach Nick Nurse might be heading to Golden State next season to join Steve Kerr‘s staff, but Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun reveals that Nurse is still under contract with Toronto for next season (Twitter link). Still, as Wolstat points out in another tweet, coaches are generally let out of their contracts if they’re offered a better position elsewhere.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

Lakers Rumors: Bynum, Gasol, Marshall

The Cavs are zeroing in on the Lakers as a potential trade partner for an Andrew Bynum deal, but it doesn’t appear as though the Lakers seem eager to play along. They believe there are ways of avoiding the luxury tax that don’t involve unloading Pau Gasol, and according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com, they feel like it’s increasingly unlikely they’ll find middle ground with Cleveland (Twitter link). Here’s the latest from Lakerland as the team surveys its position:

  • “Marshall Madness,” has lifted the Lakers, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.  D-League pickup Kendall Marshall wasn’t seeing much playing time in his first five games on the roster, but injuries to Xavier Henry and Jordan Farmar forced coach Mike D’Antoni to call his number.  Since then, he’s responded quite well and showed the kind of potential that made him a lottery pick just a couple of years ago.  The point guard racked up 20 points and 15 assists in the Lakers’ 110-99 win over the Jazz on Friday.
  • Marshall took notice when the Jazz cut Jamaal Tinsley and replaced him with Diante Garrett.  “I know that the Jazz let go of a guard earlier this year and I didn’t get a call, so I kind of felt a certain way about that,” Marshall said, according to Bill Oram of the Orange County Register (on Twitter).
  • Six-year NBA veteran and former Laker Von Wafer is headed to the D-League, a source tells Gino Pilato of D-League Digest.  Wafer last played in the NBA D-League in 2006, when the Lakers assigned him to the Fort Worth Flyers.  He most recently played for the Shanghai Sharks, and averaged 27.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists in five games.  The 28-year-old will likely play during the NBA D-League Showcase, which is scheduled to begin Sunday.
  • Pau-Orthez of France announced the signing of Eric Boateng, who spent camp with the Lakers this fall (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).  The 28-year-old center had been playing with La Union in Argentina, Carchia notes.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Von Wafer Signs With Shanghai Sharks

Veteran free agent guard Von Wafer will return to China for the coming season, according to Andrew Crawford of SharkFinHoops.com, who tweets that Wafer has signed with the Shanghai Sharks (hat tip to Sportando).

Wafer, 28, also played in China last season,  for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, as our international player movement tracker shows. In 34 games with the team, the former second-round pick averaged 26.4 PPG and poured in 3.8 threes per game. Prior to heading overseas last season, Wafer played for the Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets, Blazers, Rockets, Celtics, and Magic in parts of six NBA seasons.

We didn’t hear many rumors about a possible return to the NBA for Wafer this season, though the Heat reportedly had some interest. I’d guess that Miami wasn’t willing to guarantee Wafer the sort of money he’ll earn in China.

Heat Express Interest In Von Wafer, Others

According to Hoopsworld.com's Alex Kennedy, the Heat have recently expressed interest in several free agents, including Von WaferJulyan Stone, Justin Holiday, Yakhouba Diawara, and Larry Drew II.

The 28-year-old Wafer last played in the NBA during the 2011/12 season as a member of the Magic. He averaged 5.9 PPG in 33 appearances. Only 24 years old and with two seasons under his belt with the Nuggets, Stone appeared in four games last year, but has reportedly agreed to a training camp deal with the Raptors.

The Heat have 13 players on guaranteed contracts, not including the recently signed Michael Beasley, who is on a non-guaranteed deal. 

Odds & Ends: LeBron/Cavs, Wafer, Harrington

Without leading scorers Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters yesterday, the Cavaliers had the surging Heat against the ropes in Cleveland through three quarters, leading by nine before ultimately losing in a heartbreaker. The last few years have represented some trying times for Cavs fans, although with the rise of Irving as a young potential superstar, Dion Waiters showing flashes as a promising scorer, and Tristan Thompson continuing to improve, the horizon is beginning to look bright in Cleveland. A promising young core on a team with cap space could only be a selling point toward a possible homecoming for LeBron James in 2014, although ESPN's Marc Stein (Twitter link) believes that the Akron native and Dwyane Wade are too close for LeBron to just "bolt Miami." Here are more of tonight's miscellaneous notes from around the NBA: 

  • Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld highlights that several clubs have considered signing Von Wafer, particularly teams looking to bolster their rosters before the playoffs start. The former second-round pick had recently returned from a stint in China and last played in the NBA during the 2011/12 season. In the same piece, Kennedy identifies players who have helped their free agency stock with their strong play this year. 
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes that Al Harrington could decide to sit out the rest of the season for the Magic for the sake of their young players benefiting from major playing time. The 33-year-old forward, who overcame a staph infection after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, insists that his knees are fine now and that he will focus on preparing them for next year. Robbins adds that although Harrington is due about $14.7MM over the next two seasons, those years are partially guaranteed and could be bought out for nearly half that number this summer.
  • Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro discusses his job status with Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times. Now in his third season in LA and nearing the end of his contract, Dwyre writes that Chris Paul's contract status, the level of preference for Del Negro, and the team's performance in the playoffs are all substantial factors that are in play with regard to the coach's future with the team. 
  • Pistons coach Lawrence Frank tells David Mayo of MLive.com that, considering their record this year, none of the players – as well as the coaches – should feel safe about retaining their role for next season. 

Odds & Ends: McGuire, Wafer, Hinrich, Magic

The Metropolitan King County Council took the initial step towards bringing an NBA arena to Seattle, according to the Associated Press.  Investor Chris Hansen's $490MM plan calls for nearly $300MM in private funds and $200MM in public contribution.  Here's tonight's look around the Association..

International Moves: Krstic, Kirilenko, Wafer

Behind 25 points from Ike Diogu, Nigeria defeated the Domincan Republic on Sunday for the final spot in the Olympics.  The international game will garner plenty of attention over the next month or so, and tonight there's news about a few former, and perhaps future, NBA players as they make their decisions concerning pro teams overseas. Here's the latest: 

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Magic Waive Von Wafer

The Magic have released Von Wafer, according to a team press release. The move reduces Orlando's roster to 14 players, seven of whom are under contract for next season.

Wafer signed a three-year, minimum-salary deal with Orlando in December, but only the first season was guaranteed. Wafer's cap hit for the Magic for 2011/12 was about $1.07MM, but the team won't be on the hook for any more of the 26-year-old's salary. Wafer, who averaged 5.9 points and 14.2 minutes in 33 games this season, will become an unrestricted free agent once he clears waivers.

With Wafer no longer on the roster, Orlando has one more nonguaranteed deal to consider — the Magic can avoid paying J.J. Redick's $6.19MM salary if they decide to waive the sharpshooter before August 8th.

Odds & Ends: McCants, Free Agency, Parker

The annual March Madness tournament has seen 64 teams become reduced to the Sweet Sixteen, half of which are battling tonight to advance to the Elite Eight. Today, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com released a list of his top prospects heading into June's NBA draft, and 16 out of the 30 players are on teams that are still active in the tournament. Madness aside, let's see what else is happening around the world of basketball: