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Delonte West has the type of track record that should give contending teams pause.
There are a couple of things that should raise a few eyebrows for contending teams pondering signing Delonte West as a free agent.
West had a serious gun possession charge a few years ago. Yes, West also suffers from bipolar disorder. The disorder is not a reason to avoid West; people with bipolar disorder can play on contending teams, contribute and win. However, the fact that he has a history of gun play wouldn't bode well no matter what his overall mental state was.
More importantly, West has a history of playing on teams that don't always live up to their potential. That may or may not be his fault; as with most things, it's probably a little West and a lot of other factors as well. Still, look at the track record.
Boston Celtics 2004-07: West arrived and in his first year, the Celtics won 45 games. Then they won 33 games, and in West's final year, they had just 24 wins.
West then departed, at which point the Celtics won an NBA title.
West went to Seattle for a half-season. He was dealt midseason to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Nonetheless, Seattle finished the 2007-2008 season with 20 wins and then promptly left Seattle for Oklahoma City. For those unaware, the Thunder appear to be a franchise headed in the right direction.
Cleveland went to the NBA Finals in the 2006-07 season. While West was in Cleveland, the Cavaliers went to the Eastern Conference finals once in 2009 where they lost. They also lost twice in the Eastern Conference semifinals, both times to the Boston Celtics.
Following West's tenure in Cleveland, LeBron James left for Miami, sending the Cavaliers back to the drawing board as a franchise. Oh yeah—while in Cleveland, West may or may not have had an affair with LeBron James' mother (from ESPN's Colin Cowherd and the Huffington Post).
From Cleveland, it was back to Boston where the Celtics would—you guessed it—lose to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the 2011 Eastern Conference finals.
This past season was spent in Dallas as a member of the Mavericks. The Mavericks entered the 2011-12 season as the defending NBA champs. With West on the team, the Mavs were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Anyone sensing a trend here?