When NBA players want to get paid but are sliding out of the league, China has become the destination of choice — lots of money in that market and a shorter season.
Looks like you can add Delonte West to that list, according to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
Free agent guard Delonte West has signed a one-year deal with Fujian Xunxing of China, a source informed CSNNW.com. West, 30, will have the opportunity to latch onto an NBA team once the Chinese Basketball Association’s season concludes in February.
It’s not that West doesn’t still have skills on the court — his last season in Dallas he average 9.6 points and 3.2 assists per game, shot 35.5 percent from three and played solid defense. He’s the kind of role player a number of teams could use, and he’s just 30 years old.
But the disruptions off the court are not worth the price to teams (how much of a disruption you can be in pro sports is a sliding scale with what you bring to the table and West is on the wrong side of that scale now). Mark Cuban has made the Dallas Mavericks arguably the most player-friendly team in the NBA, and they cut him loose because of the distractions. Other teams want to see him be able to be good in someone else’s locker room before they bring him into theirs.
West can do that in China, but players who have been there will tell you about the culture shock — this isn’t like playing in Europe where the language is different but you can find familiar food and it’s sort of all a Westernized culture. China is 180 degrees the other direction. Everything is very different. There is heavy player turnover because of it. Hopefully West has the ability to stick it out and make it work, I’d like to see the guy back on the court.