LAS VEGAS-The Celtics signed undrafted free agent Brandon Wallace this afternoon to a partially guaranteed two-year deal, though neither side immediately commented on the value of the contract. The signing came shortly after Boston lost to the San Antonio Spurs, 61-53, during summer league play at Cox Pavilion. Coming out of South Carolina, the 6-foot-9-inch, 203-pound Wallace has been impressive at small forward during two summer league games, especially since he had to adjust to the new position after playing center in college.
“Brandon Wallace is a very talented young man,” said Ainge. “He’s got a great basketball IQ and he’s very aware defensively. I like his passing, defense, rebounding and shot-blocking ability. I don’t know how good he can be at [small forward], but he’s a guy we’re excited to see develop.”
In the Celtics summer league opener against the Portland Trail Blazers, Wallace finished with 8 points, 5 rebounds and 1 blocked shot and 1 steal in 26 minutes. He followed that performance with 4 points, 5 rebounds and 1 steal yesterday against the Spurs.
“Everything happened so fast,” said Wallace, who stayed after the Celtics game and watched the Memphis Grizzlies play the Detroit Pistons sitting beside his agent Eric Fleisher. “If you asked me if I expected it to happen this soon, I would have said no. I just thank Boston for giving me the opportunity, believing that a guy who played [center] in college can play [small forward] in the NBA. It’s rare that someone that goes undrafted signs this early.”
Wallace also thanked the Celtics for making him switch from center to small forward.
“It was actually a big favor,” said Wallace. “In the SEC, it was rough playing against guys that [center] size and it would have been tougher [in the NBA.] Whoever made that call, I appreciate it.”
Fleisher commented that the Celtics have long held a strong interest in Wallace. According to Fleisher, the Celtics called him two minutes after the draft finished, looking to add Wallace to their summer league roster.
“Boston showed a real interest in Brandon early,” said Fleisher. “I think they did a very good job of evaluating him as a player and as a person. He had a very good workout [for Boston] and it reconfirmed things that they’d seen. I had a very good feeling it would be a nice fit.”
After summer league finishes, Wallace will head to Boston to continue working out with team personnel.