When last we saw Delonte West, the Dallas Mavericks — arguably the most player-friendly organization in the NBA — let him go at the end of training camp after he clashed with management. He couldn’t get back into the league after that.
West is trying to get back his image and his NBA life. He talked openly with Slate about being perceived as a person he is not. Yes, he has battled a bipolar disorder, and as we have seen with Royce White and others fitting that kind of mental challenge into the NBA life is not easy. But a lot of things rumored to have happened didn’t (nobody reasonable around the league buys the LeBron rumor, only fans seeking titillation latch on).
West is trying to get back in the league at age 30. That is going to start this summer in the D-League, reports Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
Can he make it back?
Talent isn’t the question. Back in 2012, his last season in Dallas, West averaged 9.6 points a game, shot 35.5 percent from three and had a PER right at the league average of 15.3. He brings versatility to the table — West can penetrate, dish, knock down open looks and is a solid defender. A lot of teams could use a guy like him as a veteran backup point guard.
The question is would he be worth the potential distractions? This is the guy who gave Gordon Hayward a “Wet Willie” during an NBA game, who has been arrested on gun charges (something he thought was blown out of proportion), who has presented a series of challenges for teams that had him. The Mavericks let him go for a reason.
But if he can prove the off-the-court stuff is in the past, he can make it on the court. That starts in Las Vegas in July.
A lot of people around the NBA have ideas to improve the draft, free agency and the D-League, and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has never been shy about sharing his. His latest idea seems pretty logical: a supplemental draft for undrafted free agents.
Via Hoops Rumors:
“I would have a supplemental draft every summer for undrafted free agents of the current and previous 3 years,” Cuban wrote in an email to Hoops Rumors. “If you are more than 3 years out you are not eligible and just a free agent.”
The supplemental draft would have two rounds, and teams would hold the rights to the players they select for two years, Cuban added. Players can opt out and choose not to make themselves eligible, but those who get picked would receive fully guaranteed minimum-salary contracts when they sign, according to Cuban’s proposal.
“That would make it fun a few weeks after the draft and pre-summer league,” Cuban wrote. “It would prevent some of the insanity that goes on to build summer league rosters.”
It’s an interesting proposition. Most undrafted players who sign during the summer don’t get guaranteed contracts, so when deciding to enter this supplemental draft, they would have to weigh the value of having guaranteed money versus getting to decide where they sign. It’s unlikely that anything like this could happen anytime soon, because of all the hoops to jump through to get the league and the players’ union to sign off on it, but it’s a worthwhile idea that deserves some consideration in the next CBA negotiations.
The Cavaliers’ training camp has so far been filled with bad news and uncertainty, from Tristan Thompson‘s continuing contract holdout to Iman Shumpert‘s wrist injury (which will sideline him for up to three months) to Kyrie Irving continuing to be limited. But here’s some good news: Kevin Love will fully participate in practice with the team on Saturday for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury in last year’s first-round series against the Celtics.
From Cleveland.com’s Chris Haynes:
Head coach David Blatt announced on Wednesday that power forward Kevin Love will make his first full practice debut on Saturday. The three-time All-Star has been rehabbing ever since undergoing shoulder surgery in May.
“He’s coming along real nice,” Blatt said.
On Monday Love was cleared to participate in 3-on-3 basketball workouts. Prior, he was only allowed to do individual work that consisted of absorbing contact from a pad in the post.
It’s unclear when Love will be able to play in a game, but the fact that he’s been cleared to return to practice is undoubtedly a good sign for Cleveland, and there’s hope that he’ll be able to play on opening night against the Bulls on October 27. With all the bad breaks the Cavs have caught this summer, it’s nice to see some good injury news for once.