Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wafer returns to Houston

With their bench wafer-thin, the Rockets are on the verge of re-signing prodigal shooting guard Von Wafer.

The 6-foot-5 Wafer, who signed with Olympiacos after enjoying a breakout season with the Rockets last year, paid approximately $1.2 million to buy out his Greek contract and will rejoin the Rockets after passing his team physical.

Wafer, 24, averaged 7.7 points in three Euroleague games with Olympiacos, all coming off the bench. He now returns to Houston, where last season Wafer had his best NBA season, averaging 9.7 points in 63 games. He shot 45 percent from the field, 39 percent from the 3-point line and 75 percent from the free-throw line while averaging 19 minutes a game.

"I think he proved last year that he could play for us," said Rockets coach Rick Adelman. "We'll just have to see how everything works out. We obviously know him and know what he can do off the bench, so we'll see how it plays out."

Wafer came close to signing with Memphis, but his familiarity with the Rockets' system made Houston a more desirable landing spot. And with rookie swingman Chase Budinger hobbled with a sprained right ankle and Tracy McGrady still working his way back from last season's microfracture surgery, the Rockets can use the talent infusion.

"You know what he did for us last year," Adelman said. "And the way we're trying to play, he fits in extremely well here. So it gives us a little bit more depth, and it gives us someone that we know and who had a lot of success with us last year."

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