The Pacers may After months of talking about addressing the power forward position combined with much speculation on just how they might do it, the Indiana Pacers reportedly agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with free agent David West.
West comes to Indy to play with a young Pacers team that desperately needs a positive veteran presence that can also make an impact on the court. West has spent all eight of his NBA seasons with the New Orleans Hornets where he leaves behind career averages of 16.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. He was averaging 19 points per game last season when an ACL injury end his year after 70 games.
The injury also put his pending free agency in peril, making him a risk to return ready to play in the 2011-12 season at age 31. West pronounced himself fit to play late in the summer but the NBA lockout offered West the additional time needed to keep preparing the knee and his game to be ready for the season to tip.
The Pacers also minimized their risk in the deal by being able to agree to a two-year deal. The Boston Celtics were trying to land West in a sign-and-trade deal with a three-year deal reportedly worth $27-29 million. In an interesting twist of fate, the Celtics' deal fell through due to former Pacer Jermaine O'Neal. Neither New Orleans nor J.O. wanted to team up and the Celtics couldn't entice a third team to take O'Neal's $6.2 million contract.
West will re-acquaint himself with former New Orleans point guard, Darren Collison. The two should greatly improve the Pacers pick and roll and pick and pop taking advantage of West's effective mid-range scoring ability.
The Pacers may not be done today, either. Still chatter about trying to land O.J. Mayo.
Check out what others have to say, after the jump.
Agent Lance Young confirms David West agrees with Indiana on two-year, $20 million deal: "David is ready to help them win a championship."
Great signing for Larry Bird, who has a deep, versatile frontline and huge grown up presence for locker room. West's a total pro and winner.
David West's agent: "David looks at the Pacers as a good young team with lot of potential."
Strong move by the Pacers getting David West. Smart, short-term deal for an 18-and-8 guy, a veteran, real pro. And the day is still young
And it begins to end. My favorite Hornets player is gone. @D_West30 thank you for giving us some great, great years! Good luck out there.