BOSTON – Brad Wanamaker is one of the few new faces on the Boston Celtics roster, but that’s OK. Unlike most rookies, Wanamaker is familiar with a couple of his new Celtics teammates (Marcus Morris from their days in Philadelphia, Daniel Theis from their time as teammates in Germany) which should help his acclimation to the team.
Familiarity helps, but ultimately it comes down to how well he plays on the floor.
So what should Celtics expect from this 29-year-old rookie?
Because of his 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame, Wanamaker has good size defensively at both guard positions. There will be comparisons made between him and Marcus Smart in part because they both have a similar build, but let’s be clear: Wanamaker is a good defender, but he’s not in the same class defensively as Smart (at least not yet).
Wanamaker is not considered an elite shooter, but he doesn’t suck, either. He shot 36.3 percent from three-point range in Euroleague play which isn’t that far off from what he shot (34.4 percent) during his four years at Pittsburgh. Shooting in the mid-30s from 3-point range would put him behind the likes of Marcus Morris (36.8 percent) and Terry Rozier (38.1 percent), but ahead of Guerschon Yabusele (32.4 percent), Semi Ojeleye (32.0 percent), Daniel Theis (31.0 percent) and Marcus Smart (30.1 percent). Regardless, Wanamaker is good enough to knock down lightly contested threes.
Wanamaker seems to be at his best when the stakes are high. As a then-rookie in a Euroleague game, Wanamaker rallied his Brose Bamberg team – a team in which he played with current Celtic Daniel Theis – to a comeback win with 18 of his 25 points coming in the final four minutes of play. It was the kind of performance that set the tone for what was an international basketball career full of awards and accolades.
Undrafted in 2011, it didn’t take long for Wanamaker to prove his worth against international competition. He has been among the best players in Europe for quite some time, evident by the amount of hardware he has received. The honors for Wanamaker include All-Euroleague Second team (2017); Turkish League champion (2018); Turkish League Finals MVP (2018); two-time Turkish League All-Star (2017-2018); two-time German BBL champion (2015-2016) and German BBL Finals MVP (2015). He even found success in his short D-League (now Gatorade League) stint, winning a title with the Austin Toros in 2012.