It’s not going to be long before David West is done with free agency and signed with a team. It’s not going to be the Indiana Pacers. Perhaps the New York Knicks?
One source is suggesting that West opted out of his deal with the Pacers (leaving $12 million on the table) knowing he was going to sign with the Knicks once he becomes a free agent. While West, one of the last “true, old school” power forward in the NBA, is still a very good player, he’s no longer consistent enough to expect such a salary, although with the salary cap rising it might less of a problem for the Knicks, especially if it’s a one year deal.
The Knicks need pretty much every bit of help they can get. Their needs on draft night? Everything. That’s not a joke. Except for Carmelo Anthony, there’s not a single player still signed to the team that’s good enough to be in an 8-man rotation around the league. Yes, things have deteriorated that much, but from every bottomless pit comes a new day in sports, if the people pulling the strings have a little bit of a clue on how to build a basketball team.
West isn’t a bad foundation to have. He averaged 11.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game in 28.7 minutes a night. He’s good with his back to the basket, has more than a decent mid-range shot, can defend guys who don’t run around too much and is a very good passer, one of the best among post players in the league.
But he’s not going to push the Knicks into the playoffs. He’s a nice addition, as long as he’s not a major signing the Knicks somehow believe will transform the team. It’s hard to believe they or West actually believe that, but it’s never easy to tell what the people running the Knicks are thinking. It’s usually quite the opposite of the logic that most NBA general managers and what not’s have.