With the team short on big men and Wilcox missing the next month or so, the Celtics made a move to add a D-League big man to the roster.
Varnado will sign with Celtics on Monday in Boston. At 6-foot-9, Varnado's averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds and 3.9 blocks in Sioux Falls.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 24, 2012
In the short term, Varnado gives the Celtics an active rebounding and shot-blocking presence off the bench.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 24, 2012
Sounds like Varnado has been making a case for a callup for a while now.
A Mississippi State product, Varnado was named D-League Player of the Week for November 23-December 2. The 6-foot, 10-inch forward averaged 15.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 5.7 blocked shots per game through the first three games of the season. Varnado is an athletic, shot blocking post player who physically resembles the body type of Walter McCarty. He was a second-round pick (41st overall) by Miami in 2010, but was waived by the Heat in training camp this fall.
Let me get this off my chest now. I LOVE WAL-TAH!!! I feel better.
So he's either 6'9" or 6'10" depending on which report is accurate. He does seem like a rebounder, which could help. And there's this:
Varnado holds the NCAA record for most career blocks with 564, while becoming the first player to be named as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons (2008, 2009, and 2010).
If he can block some shots, that's fine, but I'd prefer him to be able to rotate on defensive assignments.
Varnado needs to work harder to defend the post, fight for position and bump the receiver out of his comfort zone. Despite this, he is a solid offensive rebounder and plays the game with energy and enthusiasm. With refinement of his offensive skills, Varnado could eventually get some NBA minutes down the road.
My quick take is that I'm not sure how much time he'll get right away but it helps to have a big to add depth. He'd be easy to waive if we added a big via trade as I assume this is a 10 day contract or some minimum guaranteed deal.
I had low expectations for Stiemsma and he worked his way into the rotation last year. Perhaps Varnado can do the same. It does speak to Fab Melo's development that he wasn't considered as a call up yet. Probably best for his long term growth to keep playing and learning, but the team clearly has a need and they still won't tap him to come and help. I guess Varnado is just more game ready right now.