By: Slam

The Houston Rockets have just signed Australian center David Andersen from Regal FC Barcelona and have let free agent guard Von Wafer sign with the Greek team Olympiacos.  The rights to Anderson were traded from the Atlanta Hawks earlier this summer to the Rockets for a second round draft pick.  Andersen was drafted by the Hawks in the second round of the 2002 NBA draft but has yet to play in the NBA.  While the Rockets are signing Andersen they have let Von Wafer go as he will now start a career in Europe.  Early this week the Reds signed Denver Nuggets forward Linas Klieza and they decided they couldn’t help themselves so they brought on Wafer too.

First Exchange: Houston Rockets Sell Von Wafer

The Rockets got Wafer for cheap money last year because he had never averaged more than 3 points a game in the NBA or stayed on with a team for a full season.  In Houston Wafer was able to resurrect his career as a scoring guard off the bench for a playoff team.  After a season in which he averaged 9.7 points Wafer was looking for a pay raise and the Rockets wasn’t willing to give it to him.  The knew they had Tracy McGrady coming back along with the recently signed Trevor Ariza, which made Wafer expendable.

Second Exchange: Houston Rockets Buy David Anderson

After losing Yao Ming to a probable season ending knee injury the Rockets desperately needed help at the center position.  With not too many options available in the NBA free agent pool the Rockets looked to Europe to find help.  In Europe they found David Andersen who is coming off his ninth season in the Euroleague where he averaged 11.1 points and 4.1 rebound for a  Barcelona team that made it to the Final Four.  Andersen has proven over his time to be one of the best centers in Europe because of his ability to stretch the floor with his jump shot and then set up shop in the paint with a variety of short fade away jumpers and jump hooks.  Andersen is reportedly going to make 2.5 million dollars a year with Houston for 2 years making the deal very affordable for the Rockets who are taking a risk on a player who has never played in the NBA.  For Andersen this is more than he would of gotten in his next contract in Europe and this contract in Europe would of made him one of the highest paid players in the Euroleague.

Third Exchange: Olympaicos Buys Von Wafer

Olympiacos hasn’t been afraid to spend money over the past few years.  Last year they signed Josh Childress to a deal where he makes 4.5 million dollars a year (currently the highest in the Euroleague) and they just recently brought on Linas Kleiza this week for a contract worth 12.2 million dollars over 2 years.  Now Olympiacos has gone all out to add their third NBA player by signing Wafer to a 2 year deal worth 10 million dollars.  Wafer a Florida State product brings some very good outside shooting and he will be even more lethal with a closer three point line in Europe.  Last year was Wafer’s first productive season in the NBA and he was counted on for scoring off the bench and sometimes to be the go to guy late in games for the Rockets.  Wafer has had some flairups in the past with his emotional behavior but on a very good veteran team in Europe he should be kept under control.  This is a risky signing for Olympiacos becuase Wafer has only produced once in his career and he needs a lot of shots to be effective.  He has grown emmensley as a player this past year and this signing looks to be very hit or miss.  Wafer could either adapt to European culture well as he has fellow American Josh Childress to guide him around Piraeus and if he can fit in with this team he could end up being there go to perimeiter scorer.  There’s also the chance he doesn’t fit in with the European game and doesn’t find a prominent role on the team.  We won’t know until they hit the court but this has been one crazy week for Olympiacos.