David West held a player option and decided to opt out of his guaranteed $12.2 million contract with the Indiana Pacers. The early rumors circulated and presumed West to sign with the New York Knicks. Either that was untrue or his mind has changed after looking at the roster.
With 12 years of experience, West is now 34 years old (turns 35 at the end of August). Players at the tail ends of their careers usually look to sign a cheaper contract to chase rings. According to Sam Amick of USA Today, West is looking to find a role with one of two Western Conference contenders:
According to a person with knowledge of his situation, the free agent forward who declined a $12.2 million player option to stay with the Indiana Pacers next season, has serious interest in playing for the San Antonio Spurs or the Golden State Warriors.
The Spurs and the Warriors are the top dogs in the Western Conference. Even though the Spurs are ancient, the management has been great in limiting their minutes and maintaining effectiveness throughout the roster. Right now, their mindset is fixed on obtaining LaMarcus Aldridge and it looks like a good possibility that he lands there.
In order for West to join either team, he’ll have to take a steep paycut. With the Warriors, he could accept the mini midlevel exception for $3.3 million annually or the veteran’s minimum for $1.49 million annually. Last season, he averaged 11.7 points and 6.8 rebounds in 66 regular season games. The Pacers missed the Playoffs.