When it was reported that David West would decline his player option with the Pacers for next season to become an unrestricted free agent, it was at least a little bit of a surprise.
West could have earned $12.5 million next year by staying in Indiana, and then entered free agency right as the salary cap is set to spike in advance of the 2016-17 season.
But at age 34, and after playing 12 NBA seasons, West wanted to try to secure a multi-year deal now instead. And, it appears as though he already has his sights set on his next destination.
League source: David West is “very likely” to sign with the Knicks come FA. “He knew that before he chose not to opt in” with the Pacers.
It’s unclear what the Knicks would offer West, but even if he were able to secure a two-year deal in the $8 million per season range, he’d already have set himself up to receive a nice little raise.
West has a reputation of being one of the league’s actual tough guys, and is someone whose leadership style has traditionally commanded the respect of his teammates behind closed doors. Carmelo Anthony is more the lead-by-example type, so depending on who else New York is able to add in free agency, a veteran voice like West’s should be a welcome locker room addition.
West averaged 11.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 28.7 minutes per contest with the Pacers last season.