Delonte West made his debut with the D-League Texas Legends on Saturday, playing professionally in a game for the first time all season. He started off strong with eight points on 3-4 shooting, to go along with two rebounds and an assist while playing all 12 first quarter minutes.
West’s numbers dropped off significantly after that, likely due to the need to get back into shape after being away from the game for so long. He finished with 10 points on 4-15 shooting, with four rebounds, five assists, and six turnovers.
Checking out the highlights in the clip above, you can definitely see that West still has some skills. His ball-handling seemed well above average, and his ability to distribute and get to the basket may still be of value to an NBA team once the conditioning piece comes together.
It’s worth noting that the level of competition West was playing against in the D-League is far, far below what he would see at the next level. But if he can put up some gaudy numbers at some point over his next few games, and keep a good attitude about his situation, he may find himself on an NBA roster before the end of the season.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports that the Knicks are among the teams monitoring West’s D-League activities.
“I have met life’s challenges by climbing the Great Wall of China, riding with the bulls in Pamplona, sailing the Pacific Ocean with Ted Turner, jumping out of airplanes over Kansas, hang gliding off the cliffs of Mexico, bungee jumping atop a tower in San Antonio, and swimming with the sharks in the Caribbean.
“I have run the bases with Hank Aaron after No. 715, thrown out the first pitch at Wrigley Field, graced the cover of ‘Sports Illustrated’, and received the Jimmy V perseverance Award at the ESPY’s. I have covered eight Olympiads, dozens of Super Bowls, 24 Masters, and NBA games too numerous to count.
“I continue to live life full of love and full of fun the only way I know how.”
Fight on, Craig.
Report: Pistons signing Trey Freeman to partially guaranteed contract
The Pistons have just 14 players – one shy of the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries. The final spot will very likely go to a point guard.
Brown and McCallum should be favored in the competition, because they’re more NBA-ready. A president/coach, Stan Van Gundy is more prone to covet the player who can step in immediately.
Freeman’s partial guarantee is likely designed to entice him to play in the D-League for a low base salary. The Pistons can waive him in the preseason and then assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, though he’d become an NBA free agent.
Freeman is working to become a better distributor after playing as a go-to scorer in college. A solid mid-range shooter, he must extend his range beyond the arc. It’d also help if he got to the rim more, and it seems he has the bounce to do that.
For an undrafted player, he has nice tools. They’ll probably just need to be refined in the D-League.
But even if that’s the intention, Freeman at least gives himself a chance first of upsetting Brown and McCallum in the race for third point guard.
Watch the New York Knicks top 10 plays of last season