Von Wafer, a former of teammate of Sharks owner Yao Ming in Houston, has been announced as a Shanghai player today after a week of protracted negotiations. Wafer will start at shooting guard and sets up the prospect of an all-action backcourt between himself and Liu Wei (should the latter be able to maintain fitness throughout the season)
Wafer is coming off a strong season with the Xinjiang Tigers in which he was their main scoring outlet. A regular season average of 27.8ppg is nothing to sniff at and the guard’s pace, shooting and experience will be important to a team that needs to bounce back strongly after a poor season last time around.
Given that Yao has confirmed there will be no third overseas signing, the Sharks are an American power-forward away from a first-team roster. This will mean further pressure on Wafer, who will be expected to lead the Sharks in scoring this season if Shanghai are to get near the play-offs. That said, if Zhang Zhaoxu can finally take that step forward in his development (and frankly, he’s been paid to do just that), the Sharks could have a very useful mix of scoring threats.
This is of course the preseason so right now, everything smells rosy. However, to give Yao and GM Eric Zhang credit, they have brought in a top ten overseas player in the CBA to the Yuanshen, which other CBA franchises haven’t done so far. If they could follow this up with a hard-working forward (Mike Harris, DJ White, James Singleton are all still on the market), suddenly the season looks actually kinda….nice.
Welcome to Shanghai, Vakeaton Quamar Wafer. Whatever happens this season, you’re leading the league in bad ass full names.