Photo: Celtics blog
By: Patrick Whalen
2018-19 Report Card:
On our final installment of Report Cards, we’re talking about the final returner for the Celtics this season in Brad Wanamaker. Wanamaker joined the Celtics last season at the age of 29 after playing for many years over in Europe and Turkey. The former Pitt product took the role of the third point guard on last year’s roster after they decided not to resign Shane Larkin. Wanamaker was coming over as a very accomplished player in Europe including making the All-EuroLeague Second Team in 2017 and winning Turkish League Finals MVP in 2018. His 2016-17 season was his best by far averaging 16.7 ppg, 4.6 apg, and 1.5 steals on 44.8% shooting.
But Wanamaker would have to adjust his game to the NBA speed and talent while also adjusting to his new team and new role. Wanamaker would only appear in 36 games over the course of the year as he worked to get his game up to speed all season. As he only averaged 9.5 mpg, Brad’s per-game stats we nothing compared to his Euro League stats. But his shooting percentages were better than his last season in Europe as he shot 47.6% from the floor and 41% from downtown. He also had a true shooting percentage of 59.7%. As for his per game stats, Wanamaker averaged 3.9 ppg, 1.6 apg, and 1.1 rpg in his first NBA season.
Coming into last season no one knew what to expect out of Brad Wanamaker after the Celtics signed him. But most fans wanted to at least get similar production to what fan favorite Shane Larkin did the year before. Compared to Larkin, I don’t think Wanamaker even came close to that comparison. Larkin was a great change of pace player who could come in and make big momentum plays when the Celtics needed it, meanwhile, Wanamaker was more of a garbage-time player and never really played key minutes for the Celtics last season which is why I’m giving him a D for his 2018-19 season.
Final Grade: D
For this upcoming season, I see Wanamaker definitely getting more playing time, mostly early on in the season with the Celtics having so many young rookies that will be adjusting to the NBA. But with what we’ve seen this preseason from rookie Carsen Edwards I feel that he’ll definitely get minutes in the rotation, especially during the second half of the season. Wanamaker will provide some veteran leadership in the Celtics backcourt from the bench for guys like Edwards and fellow rookies Romeo Langford and Tremont Waters. But for Wanamaker’s on-court role I see him being a guy that will be a floor general with some spot-up shooting ability but definitely won’t be a primary scoring threat off the bench. I mostly want to see Wanamaker help these young rookies, especially Edwards, grow to become solid NBA players and even potential stars for some of them.
Predictions for 2019-20:
Games: 58 MPG: 14.8 PPG: 4.6 APG: 2.1 RPG: 1.7 FG%: 46.8% 3P%: 40.2%
Now, let’s take a look back at some of Wanamaker’s bright spots from his rookie season.
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