Von Wafer is close to being a Maverick

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wafer.jpgThe Dallas Mavericks are very close to brining gunner fan-favorite gunner Von Wafer back into the NBA.

Dallas worked him out and now all Wafer has to do is pass his physical, according to Art Garcia. Normally this is just a formality — he’s a 24-year-old, well-conditioned NBA player, how is he going to fail a physical? But he already did back in December when the Rockets were looking at him. No official reason was given although Wafer has had back problems recently.

Maybe he took up smoking while playing for Olympiakos in Greece, where he signed to start this season after no NBA team wanted him. That he had to go overseas for a good deal is a testament to Wafer’s sulking attitude and complaints, because on the court he was coming off the best of his four NBA seasons, averaging 9.3 points per game in 63 appearances for the Rockets. In the playoffs he gave them a boost off the bench with 8.2 points per game and 40.9 percent shooting from three. Yet they let him walk rather than deal with him again.

In Greece, they cut him from his two-year, $10 million deal because he was shooting 36 percent and scoring three points a game. He seemed unable to adjust to the European style of play.

Because he can shoot, Wafer has been a fan favorite from his first stop as a Laker through the Rockets. But he has clashed everywhere he has gone — with Phil Jackson in Los Angeles to Rick Adelman in Houston. Wafer can shoot, but there are a lot of guys who can shoot and replacing a one-dimensional game is not that hard, so why put up with the attitude?

We’ll see how he does in Dallas. If he can pass the physical.

Dwight Howard played through torn MCL and meniscus in playoffs

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Dwight Howard hasn’t exactly been healthy in recent years. He missed half of last season with various injuries, including a two-month stretch from January to March after undergoing a knee procedure. On Thursday, he told a Houston radio station that the knee problems continued after that, and he had torn ligaments and cartilage during the Rockets’ Western Conference Finals series against the Warriors:

It’s a little alarming that we didn’t hear about this until now. Sometimes these injuries can heal without surgery, but Howard can become a free agent next summer, so you would think he would want to get any lingering issues addressed ahead of time. Considering his age (he’ll be 30 in December) and his injury history, this isn’t a great sign. A healthy Howard is the difference between the Rockets being a legitimate title contender and an als0-ran, so hopefully these problems are behind him and he can stay healthy this season.

Report: Trevor Booker suspended one game for Hibbert altercation

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On Tuesday night, Jazz big man Trevor Booker was ejected from a preseason game against the Lakers for taking a swing at Roy Hibbert during a scrap.

Now, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Booker will be suspended one game for the hit, meaning he’ll miss the Jazz’ October 28 season opener against the Pistons:

Considering he was already ejected, a one-game suspension seems about right.