The Celtics first free-agent signing made his first appearance in Boston on Tuesday, as the team unveiled 28-year-old shooting guard Brad Wanamaker to the media.
The Euro-League standout is a former teammate of Daniel Theis overseas and will wear No. 9 with the Celtics when he makes his NBA debut this fall. The Philadelphia native played in 69 games (45 starts) with Fenerbahce Ulker of the Euroleague in 2017-18, averaging 11.5 points (45.6% FG, 35.0% 3-PT, 83.3% FT), 2.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals in 24.0 minutes.
"Over the past couple years, I thought I was ready for the jump," Wanamaker said. "The opportunity wasn’t there. Obviously, you leave a lot of money on the table coming here but I’m back in America. It’s a dream come true to play in the NBA and with a team like Boston, it’s great.
"It was crazy, because over the years you get those calls from teams, you come out in summer, you put on a private workout for teams and they’re telling you give us a few days and we’re going to send you a contract or you’re high on our radar. This time it was real. They were consistent with it coming back and forth, and draft night Austin (Ainge) hit me up and said, ‘We’ve got a spot for you.’ So that’s what I did."
The 6-foot-4 guard should provide Boston with some added depth with size at the end of the bench and appears likely to take over Shane Larkin's role as a third-string point guard.
"I had opportunities in the past, but this situation seemed like perfect timing for me," he said. "A great organization, a great coaching staff. I knew some of the players on the team already. They told me a few things and it just was perfect timing."
Wanamaker turned down upwards of $3 million in Europe for next season to sign a guaranteed one-year deal for the league minimum (about $800,000) in Boston.
"It’s all about me playing and just enjoying myself," Wannamaker said of the pay cut. "Obviously, I don’t do this for the money. Obviously, it’s a great situation and opportunity for me here in Boston and I’m happy for it."
It's evident that Wanamaker believes that the C's system will help propel him into a consistent NBA contributor over the next few seasons. He's clearly seen how other guards have thrived it in it and he believes he can fill that role.