This summer, journeyman wing Von Wafer was coming off an extremely successful 2015-16 campaign where he tore it up with Jiangsu Tong Xi of the Chinese Basketball Association. During that season, Wafer averaged 27.8 points, 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game on 47% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc. Alongside those outstanding numbers, Wafer made a good living in China as he earned up to $2 million during his time in the country.
Despite that money and great on-court success, Von Wafer still wasn’t satisfied. In fact, the 6’6 guard spent his off-season feeling a mix of depression and desperation. Those feelings were evident in a late July Twitter rant, where Wafer apologized for his past indiscretions for one last NBA opportunity. The 31-year-old Wafer was feeling so down that he was even willing to show up to an NBA facility to see if a team was willing to give him a shot.
if I don't get a call by the 15th. I'm going to start going to nba facilities and asking what do I need to do just need a opportunity.— Vakeaton wafer (@vonwafer13) July 26, 2016
Exactly four months following that Twitter rant, it looks like Wafer will get that one last opportunity for the NBA. That opportunity will come in the D-League with the Delaware 87ers, as the team announced on Friday afternoon that they claimed the NBA veteran off the waiver wire. The addition of Wafer is a necessary move for the 87ers as the team only had three players in their backcourt rotation: Cat Barber, Dionte Christmas and Brandon Triche.
Although each of those players have been solid for the 87ers, the team still needed more backcourt depth if they wanted to have success in an extremely successful Eastern Conference. Wafer will definitely help with that as the 6’5 guard is a tremendous offensive weapon. Of course, his incredible numbers in China an back up that claim, Wafer’s versatility might be more impressive. As evident in the play below, Wafer can score in a multitude of different ways from on-ball cuts, mid-range shots, to off-the-dribble perimeter jumpers.
Despite his past international success and the clear offensive skills that he exhibits, Wafer will still have to prove himself with the 87ers. From the jump, Wafer will be competing for playing time with Dionte Christmas That’s set to be a huge challenge in itself, as the 87ers guard is averaging 18 points and 4.8 assists on per game on 44% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc in the team’s first four games.
If Wafer’s able to match Christmas’ solid play and become a vital part of the 87ers offense, then the 31-year-old veteran might be close to returning to the NBA. Although that journey will be a challenge for Wafer, I think it’s safe to say that he’s willing to fight his heart out to make that dream into a reality.