Ainge Gives His Take on Wallace, Faverani
BOSTON – We’ve heard from or seen every Celtics player during the course of this offseason. That is, of course, with the exception of Gerald Wallace and Vitor Faverani.
Both of those players joined the Celtics this offseason and are less than a week away from their first training camp with the team. However, neither player has met the local media since the Celtics acquired them.
That might explain why they were two hot topics Tuesday morning at the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation’s Teeing Up for Kids golf tournament. Danny Ainge met with the media prior to teeing off and he discussed the cloud of secrecy that currently surrounds Wallace and Faverani.
Wallace, a 12-year NBA veteran, is no stranger to Celtics fans. He’s been playing in the Garden for more than a decade as a star player for the Bobcats, Trail Blazers and Nets. However, due to a previously-scheduled commitment, he unable to attend the massive press conference the Celtics held to introduce the players they acquired from Brooklyn in July.
While noting that light communication during offseason is typical, Ainge admitted on Tuesday that even he hasn’t had many conversations with Wallace. Still, Boston’s president of basketball operations believes that Wallace will bring a lot to this team and fit in well with the culture.
“It seems that everywhere he’s been, he’s been well-liked and well-compensated,” Ainge said after rattling off Wallace’s career transaction list. “He’s a good player. It wasn’t a great fit for him in [Brooklyn] last year, and we’ll try to see if we can make it a better fit for us.”
Ainge’s comments mirror what we highlighted earlier this month. Wallace struggled last season, but his game didn’t cater to Brooklyn’s system. With Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez leading the Nets’ offense, Wallace was relegated to being a spot-up shooter. The Celtics are likely to use him as a slasher, a rebounder and a defender, which are the skills he showcased as he made a name for himself in this league.
One player who has yet to make a name in this league is Faverani. He signed with the Celtics as a free agent this offseason after playing professionally overseas for the past five-plus seasons.
Faverani has been in town for quite some time and has been working out at the team’s practice facility. However, no outsiders have been able to watch to his workouts or speak with him. That’s why Faverani, for the most part, remains as a relative unknown.
We weren’t able to talk to Faverani on Tuesday, but we got the next best thing. Ainge has been watching the big man work out and he gave a rundown of what he sees in the 6-foot-11, 265-pound big man.
“What we saw out of Vitor, even before he got here – we have had no surprises – he’s got some great skills,” Ainge said. “He can pass, he can shoot, he can score on the post.”
Ainge continued by noting that although Faverani possesses those skills, he must improve in order to help the Celtics succeed.
“He’s going to have to be more consistent, take better care of the ball than he has in the past and really engrain himself into our defensive system,” said Ainge. “Those will be the questions that we’ll see (if he can answer).”
At the moment, Faverani and Wallace haven’t answered any questions since their arrival in Boston. That will finally change when the Celtics break for training camp on Tuesday.