The holiday weekend came and went. Along with the exit of the beer and hot dog-filled weekend was the move to Los Angeles by Ron Artest. Oh, well - it was not unexpected. Besides, the Rockets picked up a 24 year old with a championship ring to play the same position for a cool $33M. That will be about $1M per dribble over the life of the contract (for, you see, the unspoken part about Ariza is he has worse handle than an SUV with a high center of gravity). But enough about weekend transactions that I do not understand...
what about Von Wafer!?!?
The Chronicle reported this weekend that Von doesn't understand the Ariza signing and that he's angry. Or maybe that's just his agent trying to talk tough. Since I have no idea who Mitchell Butler is and because I don't want to misinterpret him... here's what he told the Chron:
A day after he was stunned with the Rockets’ agreement with Ariza, Wafer’s agent, Mitchell Butler, said the Rockets have shown little interest in keeping Wafer, 23, leading him to look elsewhere.
Butler said he was "floored" that the Rockets pursued Ariza, rather than seeking to keep Wafer and Ron Artest, and said it is "definitely highly unlikely (Wafer) would be back."
"None of it made any sense to me," Butler said. "We had a good conversation with them prior to free agency. I expected they would look at a center and then come back and look in-house."
And yet... your client was never going to get $33M or the midlevel exception, so wait your turn Mr. Butler.
I fail to see how letting Artest go and signing Trevor Ariza somehow impacts the Rockets' decision whether or not to keep Von Wafer. Look, I love the Baron. Von was entertaining as hell to watch last year. But he's not exactly a hot commodity on the free agent market right now. ESPN doesn't even have him listed among people to care about in the rumors (Insider link, sorry for you non-subscribers).
Of the top 50 free agents this offseason (just under 2 per team on average)... Von is nowhere to be found. Translation? I do not think his agent understands how little leverage Von has in this situation.
So, Mr. Butler, I suggest you check your ego at the door and take what the Rockets give you. I'm sure Morey and Adelman want Von back on the roster next year to give the Rockets energy off the bench. Hell, I *know* Lee wants him back just so he can justify buying a #13 jersey. That said: the Rockets won't be offering that roster spot to Von Wafer for as much money as his agent appears to be demanding though. Hopefully cooler heads prevail and Von realizes he has a good thing here. To bitch about money might short-circuit his entire career.