|The Timberwolves’ Jonny Flynn gets nowhere on this shot attempt as Jermaine O’Neal steps right up and rejects the point guard’s bid. O’Neal had four blocks. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)|
Wavering on sticking with Wafer
The Celtics have until next Monday to make a decision on the contract of reserve guard Von Wafer, and president Danny Ainge wouldn’t confirm last night that the team would retain the swingman.
Wafer signed a nonguaranteed contract in August that becomes guaranteed for the rest of the season if he is on the roster Jan. 10. Wafer has improved defensively and has had his moments, such as scoring 10 points off the bench in a 96-93 victory over the Timberwolves last night, but the Celtics may waive him to increase roster flexibility. The Celtics have the maximum 15 players on their roster.
Teams are eligible to sign players to 10-day contracts starting tomorrow.
Wafer came to Boston as a scorer but has improved immensely defensively, which has impressed Ainge and coach Doc Rivers. He is averaging 1.8 points in 26 games. Wafer has been especially helpful as a backup to Paul Pierce and as an energy player off the bench.
“We like what Von’s done, how much he’s helped us,’’ Ainge said.
Ainge said he is getting calls regarding trades but he is not close to any deal. He said he would like to see the impact of his roster when at full health.
“You never know what’s going to happen but I like our roster a lot,’’ he said.
“There’s nothing close and I really like our team when we’re healthy. There’s always calls this time of year. There’s always teams trying to do things, but I like our guys. There’s a lot of talk out there but I’m not sure what we’ll do.’’
Stars not in forecast The NBA All-Star Game hasn’t been held in Boston since 1964. Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck is interested in bringing the event to TD Garden, but the team has yet to file a formal application for the 2013 game.
“We’ve been busy,’’ Grousbeck said with a smile. “We’ve been to two NBA Finals in the last three years and we definitely would like to have an All-Star Game here but we haven’t filed an application.’’
Many of the NBA’s financially troubled cities are uninterested in hosting an All-Star Game. The 2011 game will be in Los Angeles next month. Grousbeck said Boston would like to get into the host rotation but winning a title is the team’s main priority.
Time to heal Rajon Rondo told Rivers he was a little sore after returning to action Sunday against the Raptors, but that was expected. Rondo was in the starting lineup last night against the Timberwolves and played 35 minutes. He finished with 6 points and 16 assists.
Pierce tweaked his right ankle while dunking near the end of Sunday’s game but he was also in the lineup, scoring 23 points in 37 minutes.
“Paul’s good, I just think he jumped too high on a play,’’ Rivers joked. “He’s not used to that anymore. Everybody’s good. Everybody’s progressing. I think Rondo said he wasn’t as sore as he thought he would be. I thought Rondo almost played in a conservative way. I think when you sprain your ankle, it never goes away. You play at 100 percent but there’s always some swelling.’’
Aiming for target Ainge said he planned on talking with Kevin Garnett last night about his strained right calf to determine a potential target date for returning. Garnett was expected to miss about two weeks after sustaining the injury Dec. 29 against Detroit. Ainge said he is not considering holding out Garnett until the team hits the West Coast at the end of the month . . . The Timberwolves’ Kevin Love grabbed nine rebounds in the first nine minutes, had 15 by halftime, and finished with 24. That broke the record for most rebounds by an opposing player at TD Garden, 22 by Dikembe Mutombo of the 76ers on March 11, 2001 . . . Guard Jonny Flynn, who missed Minnesota’s win over New Jersey Saturday with a sprained ankle, returned to action.