With guard Lance Stephenson now a member of the Charlotte Hornets and swingman Paul George likely out for the season, many are expecting a mass exodus from the Indiana Pacers. That could start with center Roy Hibbert and power forward David West.
West could be traded or he could leave in free agency after the 2014-2015 season when he can opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent.
However, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders doesn’t expect West to opt out after the season because there is no one who is going to pay him the $12.6 million he is owed.
West will turn 34 this month, so he’s not exactly a spring chicken, but with this year and a player option year left on his deal, he may be more attractive to teams with championship aspirations. It’s possible that West opts-out of his final year, especially if he is traded to an unfavorable destination. If the Pacers hang on to him, or he is traded to a contender it’s unlikely that anyone is going to offer more than $12.6 million for West. However, there is always the chance that West trades in his final $12.6 million in exchange for a few more guaranteed years in the NBA.
Although West would love a few more guaranteed years as Kyler suggests, passing on $12.6 million doesn’t seem like a good idea. Plus, with George returning for the 2015-2016 season (and a return next season hasn’t been ruled out), the Pacers could make a few tweaks and make their way back towards the top of the Eastern Conference.
West averaged 14.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 48.8% from the floor, 26.7% from beyond the arc and 78.9% from the free throw line. In his 11-year NBA career, he’s put up 15.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game while shooting 49.1% from the field, 25.6% from three and 82.5% from the charity stripe.
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