Dajuan Wagner’s Comeback Short Lived

CELESTE E. WHITTAKER of the Courier-Post Staff brings us up to date on Dajuan Wagner.
Dajuan Wagner’s tenure with the Golden State Warriors was short-lived.

The former Camden High School star and the NBA team agreed to a buyout of his contract over the weekend, effectively ending his two-month stint with the Warriors.

Wagner, 23, who missed the entire 2005-06 NBA season after recovering from colon surgery, signed a two-year contract with the Warriors worth $1.6 million in September. Wagner had suffered from colitis, or inflammation of the colon, and had his entire colon removed in October of 2005.

“Over the last few weeks, it was evident that Dajuan was not ready for the daily rigors of the NBA,” said Leon Rose, Wagner’s Pennsauken-based agent. “This is a setback in his comeback attempt, however, we, along with his medical team, are evaluating the situation and will make a determination as to the best course of action.

“He may have gone from zero to 100 too quick.”

Wagner, the sixth overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft out of Memphis, started six of the Warriors’ seven preseason games, twice leading the team in scoring. But he appeared in just one of the Warriors’ 10 regular-season games and played just seven minutes, scoring four points against Detroit Nov. 11. He was not at the Warriors’ game Saturday against Seattle, with the team reporting he was “under the weather.”

Asked if he was disappointed things did not work out in Golden State, Wagner said, “not really.”

“Everything was going good, I just don’t think I was ready yet,” Wagner said Monday. “I’m getting there. I don’t think I was there yet. I probably need a little time.”

Wagner’s NBA career has been injury and illness ridden. He played in just 102 of a possible 246 games in his three seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, missing most of the games due to injury or illness. He averaged 9.4 points and 1.9 assists during his time there.

He’s unsure if he’ll try to play in the NBA again this season. “I’m just going to get my body right,” Wagner said, “take a little time off.”