Delonte West had a fairly productive eight seasons in the NBA in terms of his on-court contributions, but personal issues which stemmed from his battle with a bipolar disorder often made him more trouble than he was worth from a personality standpoint in the locker room.
That was the reason the Mavericks parted ways with West before last season began, and whatever problems he was blamed for in Dallas kept him out of the league for all of last season.
West tried to show he was ready to return with a stint in the D-League back in March, and with no negative reports being filed on his behavior while there, it appears a couple of teams are ready to take a serious look at bringing him back next season.
From Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com:
The New York Knicks and the Memphis Grizzlies are on the lookout for a backup point guard and according to a source close to the situation, both teams have inquired about the services of Delonte West.
The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, says talks between the two teams have ramped up recently, however they are termed as being “preliminary at this point” with no offers presented as of yet.
Both teams shall remain in contact with West as they continue to survey the market.
Tony Allen of the Grizzlies took to Twitter to endorse West earlier this week.
In eight games for the D-League’s Texas Legends, West averaged 10.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.2 steals in 28.4 minutes per game. But again, we know West can still play — it’s more about his personality fit with a given team than anything else.
Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.
Pacers fans delivered.
They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.
Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.
The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.
“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”
Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.
Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard was widely panned – including by me – for trading Paul George for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
Oladipo and Sabonis are killing it while George has underwhelmed.
Upon George’s return to Indiana, Pritchard took the opportunity to gloat. The Pacers general manager recently liked these tweets (hat tip: Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation):
This is petty – and I love it. Pritchard earned the victory lap.
Paul George has been pretty open about his plans.
He told plenty of people – including the Pacers – he planned to leave for the Lakers in the summer of 2018. Even after the Thunder traded for him, George spoke of the lure of playing for his hometown team.
Of course, George also left the door open to re-signing with Oklahoma City. He proclaimed he’d be dumb to leave if the Thunder reached the conference finals or upset the Warriors.
So far, Oklahoma City (12-14) doesn’t even look like a playoff lock, let alone a team capable of knocking off Golden State or reaching the conference finals. So, cue the inevitable speculation.
Sam Amick of USA Today:
Rival execs still expect Paul to head for the Lakers in free agency
Do these executives have inside information into George’s thinking, or are they just speculating based on already-available information? Some executives are incentivized to drum up the Lakers threat, because they want to trade for George themselves now. If these executives insist George will leave for Los Angeles regardless, they might pry him from Oklahoma City for less.
There’s also a theory George is hyping his desire to sign with the Lakers so a team would have to trade less for him. That got him to the Thunder for what looked like a meager return (but hasn’t been). It might get him to a more favorable situation before the trade deadline without hampering his next team long-term. Of course, this theory isn’t mutually exclusive with George actually signing in Los Angeles. It could just get him better options to choose from this summer.
Surely, the Thunder are trying to parse all this noise. If their season doesn’t turn around, they should explore flipping George rather than risk losing him for nothing next summer. But they should also be wary that he’ll bolt for Los Angeles at first opportunity just because rival executives predict it.