After declining an eight-figure player option to join the San Antonio Spurs last summer, David West is reportedly headed west this coming fall.
The veteran forward and the Golden State Warriors reached a one-year deal Tuesday for the veteran's minimum ($1.55 million), per Turner Sports' David Aldridge. Sam Amick of USA Today confirmed the news.
West's agreement comes a day after Kevin Durant announced he'd be joining the Warriors in an essay on the Players' Tribune. The 35-year-old is the second veteran to go ring-chasing in Golden State; center Zaza Pachulia agreed to a one-year deal for the room exception (about $2.9 million) Monday, per Shams Charania of The Vertical.
West's decision to join the Warriors comes after he declined to pick up his player option for the 2016-17 campaign with San Antonio. At the time, his agent, Jeff Austin, told Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News, “He hasn’t 100 percent even decided to play.”
West entered the league as a first-round pick in 2003 out of Xavier and has played for the then-New Orleans Hornets, Indiana Pacers and Spurs. He pursued an elusive championship last season when he opted out of his contract with Indiana after the 2014-15 campaign and signed with the Spurs for the veteran’s minimum.
Alas, West and San Antonio lost in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs to Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder.
West came off the bench for the Spurs and averaged 7.1 points on a career-best 54.5 shooting percentage and 4.0 boards per game in 2015-16. In his prime, West averaged double-figure scoring totals for 10 straight seasons from 2005-06 through 2014-15 and posted more than 20 per night twice. The two-time All-Star is a dangerous pick-and-pop option who can extend his arsenal to the mid-range and score over smaller defenders on the blocks.
He has parlayed those skills into impressive numbers throughout his decade-plus NBA tenure:
|David West's Per-Game Career Stats|
|2003-04||New Orleans Pelicans||3.8||4.2||47.4|
|2004-05||New Orleans Pelicans||6.2||4.3||43.6|
|2005-06||New Orleans Pelicans||17.1||7.4||51.2|
|2006-07||New Orleans Pelicans||18.3||8.2||47.6|
|2007-08||New Orleans Pelicans||20.6||8.9||48.2|
|2008-09||New Orleans Pelicans||21||8.5||47.2|
|2009-10||New Orleans Pelicans||19||7.5||50.5|
|2010-11||New Orleans Pelicans||18.9||7.6||50.8|
|2015-16||San Antonio Spurs||7.1||4.0||54.5|
West also won the Associated Press Player of the Year award during his senior season at Xavier in 2002-03, helping lead the Musketeers into the Top 10 of the national rankings.
While West isn’t the same player he was in New Orleans or Indiana, the 14-year veteran will be a strong locker room presence and brings extensive postseason experience to the Warriors. He has appeared in 83 playoff games in his career, averaging 14.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per night in those contests.
West has yet to win a championship in his career, but his ability to anchor a second unit off the bench could help push Golden State over the top in 2016-17. The Warriors still need to round out their bench with another wing or two, but they are shaping up to be perhaps the most talented team in NBA history.