Note to Pacers: David West isn’t worth it
When NBA free agency eventually begins, the Indiana Pacers will have power forward David West high on their wishlist. This isn’t surprising, as they basically platooned guys into that 4-spot all of last season. But I don’t know if West is the right guy here. I’m assuming they’ll overpay for him too…as a new collective bargaining agreement won’t change this, most popular of NBA traditions. Unless it comes at a steep steep discount, they’re better off without West. Why? Because the last time ’D’ went in the paint, Kobe Bryant was still wearing number 8.
Back in 2003, David West wasn’t really heralded coming out of Xavier. He chased that with a very average rookie year in the NBA. But over the next few summers you could really tell that he worked on his game. West found his niche in the league….using his wide frame at 6’8″ to get boards and finish inside. He also developed his mid-range jumpshot…..too much so. Since his All-Star appearance in 2008 (not counting ’09 when he got the hometown vote in New Orleans), he’s pretty much been a ‘pick-n-pop’ big guy that shuns away from physicality. The most contact he’s had in recent years was when he stuck his finger in Dirk Nowitzki‘s face in a playoff series. And this is a guy who reportedly boxes during the offseason?? come on dogg…..there’s nothing more frustrating to the human race than a bigman who doesn’t play like one. It’s enough to make Bill Walton start stuttering again.
Whether it’s the nagging injuries or the big payday, David West hasn’t been the same player for years now. In fact, if it wasn’t for playing next to Chris Paul he might be fighting Kurt Thomas for minutes somewhere (btw- I’d give the nod to Kurt). And it bugs me because West could be a beast in this league, a perennial All-Star. Now he just gives former power forward Charles Barkley more reason to stare at himself in the mirror every morning and gloat. They just don’t make ‘em like they used to I guess.
No Pacer fans, I don’t think this guy is what you need in your lives. It might look nice ‘on paper’ but that is usually how bad free agent deals begin. I hope Larry Bird lifts his head away from the statsheet long enough to see that this isn’t the best way to spend owner Herb Simon‘s money…..not unless D-West got a heart transplant this summer that we don’t know of. They’re better off with the holdover, young Tyler Hansbrough. He too has a jumper, but plays way tougher and hasn’t been changed by $ or fame.
Oh, and did I mention West is coming off serious knee surgery? Yeah, let’s pass on this one Hoosiers…….