Delonte West Cut By Timberwolves: Will Anyone Take a Chance on Him?
Delonte West exploded onto the basketball scene, while playing collegiately at St. Joseph's, alongside Jameer Nelson. In 2004, during West's junior season, the two star guards let their squad to the Elite Eight and a 30-2 record.
As a result of his college basketball success, West was drafted 24th overall by the Boston Celtics in the 2004 NBA Draft.
Since then, he has gone on to achieve various levels of success, playing for the Celtics, the Seattle Supersonics, and, most recently, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On July 26, 2010, West was traded from the Cavs, along with Sebastian Telfair, to the Minnesota Timberwolves, in exchange for Ramon Sessions and Ryan Hollins.
But Minnesota, seeking to avoid paying West's $4.6 million salary, waived him on Tuesday, August 3, 2010, thereby allowing them to only grant him only $500,000.
Now, West is without a team, late in free agency.
Yet, West is a relatively attractive free agent. He is well qualified to play either guard position, possessing point guard skills (passing, court vision, and ball handling), decent shooting form, and good defense and athleticism.
Nevertheless, throughout the course of his NBA career, West has experienced negative attention and a number of problems off of the court.
If you were an NBA general manager, would you sign Delonte West?
These occurrences, although strange, were nothing serious.
However, during the 2008-09 season, West was forced to miss a few games while seeking treatment for what was reported to be either depression, a mood disorder, or bipolar disorder.
Since then, his off-the-court trouble has escalated, becoming more of a cause for concern.
On September 17, 2009, West was stopped by the police for changing lanes on his motorcycle in an manner that was deemed to be unsafe. After pulling over, West admitted to the officer that he was carrying a handgun. Upon searching West, the police found another handgun and a shotgun (in a guitar case strapped to his back). He was subsequently arrested.
Then in October 2009, it was revealed that, on multiple occasions, West either missed or delayed team flights, due to his severe anxiety over flying.
Later that season, following the 2009-10 NBA Playoffs, rumors abounded that West had an affair with LeBron James' mother, causing the Cavaliers to be eliminated by the Boston Celtics and helping to force LeBron out of Cleveland. However, there has not been evidence that this rumor contains any bit of truth.
And finally, last month, West had his court date for the gun arrest. He was sentenced to eight months of house arrest, two years of unsupervised probation, 40 hours of community service, and mandatory psychological counseling, although the sentence would allow him to regularly conduct his NBA travel and work schedules.
Additionally, the NBA is looking into whether or not they ought to levy a suspension for West's actions in this case.
This particular fact makes West exponentially less attractive to NBA teams, as few would like to sign a convicted criminal who might be facing a suspension.
But it is hard to do anything but feel bad for West's current situation.
He is clearly an individual who has some problems. Yet these problems are diagnosable disorders, which are not his fault.
West is a talented basketball player, and as long as he continues to seek psychological help, he should definitely be considered by some teams.
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