David West was an important part of the Pacers advancing as far as they did in the playoffs this season, but he’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and there are already teams lining up with interest should he choose to seek employment elsewhere.
Thankfully for Indiana, that doesn’t appear as though it’s going to happen.
Earlier in the series against the Heat, West already had said he’d like to return to the Pacers next season. Once it was over, he reiterated that feeling a little more strongly.
When asked following Game 7 if he’d thought about where he’d like to play next season, West made it as clear as possible that the Pacers will be his first, and possibly only choice.
“That’s something I’ll sit down and discuss, but this is my group,” West said. “These are my guys. You know, I can’t see myself going anywhere else. We’re the second best team in the Eastern Conference, one of the top four teams in the league, in my estimation, based on this year.
“This group is a solid group,” he added. “Gives me as an individual the best chance to accomplish the goals that I have left in terms of my future, and that’s competing at this stage of the game every single year from here on out.”
West mad $10 million this season, and may have to take a pay cut if he truly wishes to stay in Indiana. But given the way this season ended, along with the fondness West seems to have for his teammates and coaches, we’ll go ahead and take him at his word that he’ll likely be back with the Pacers next season.