NBA Trade Rumors: 10 Teams That Would Love to Have David West
With the Carmelo Anthony "melo" drama grabbing up all the headlines, David West's impending free agency has slipped under the headlines.
After seeing David Lee get a six-year, $80 million contract last summer, there's little doubt West will opt out of the last year of his team-friendly contract when he is due a (relatively) paltry sum of $9 million.
This couldn't come at a worse time for the Hornets. The franchise, still reeling from the financial hit of operating in a post-Katrina New Orleans, recently became a ward of the league, in a manner similar to MLB's Montreal Expos in the early part of the last decade.
Not only will the other owners blanch at using their money to finance a nominal competitor's spending in the off-season, but Hornets' management has to be leery of locking the current team, with a ceiling of a second-round exit, into place long-term.
At the same time, if they have any hope of keeping Chris Paul, a must for the viability of the franchise in New Orleans, they can't just let West walk for nothing in the off-season.
If they do decide to trade him, there would be no shortage of suitors for West, a two-time All-Star with a PER of 20.8 this season.
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Why He Would Fit: Denver has been strangely passive all season with the looming specter of Carmelo's free agency hanging over every decision the franchise makes.
But if they think they can't get fair trade value for Carmelo, they might try the opposite tack: make one last desperate push for a championship and hope to convince him that he can win a title in Denver.
West would give the Nuggets the front-court scorer the team needs if they want to match up with Dallas, San Antonio and LA.
What They Could Offer: West for Ty Lawson, Al Harrington and Shelden Williams.
Oklahoma City Thunder
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Why He Would Fit: To take the next step in the playoffs, the Thunder need to get better up front. Neither of their starting big men (Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic) can score from the low-post or protect the rim.
While West isn't a great shot-blocker, adding him would make the Thunder absolutely lethal offensively, as well as allow Durant and Westbrook to play off a low-post threat.
What They Could Offer: West for Jeff Green, Cole Aldrich and Daequan Cook.
Portland Trail Blazers
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Why He Would Fit: With the careers of both Brandon Roy and Greg Oden in jeopardy, LaMarcus Aldridge is the new franchise player in Portland. At 6'11, 240 with a 7'5 wingspan, Aldridge has the defensive versatility to defend centers and power forwards.
Adding West would give Portland one of the most dangerous offensive front-courts in the NBA.
What They Could Offer: West and David Anderson for Rudy Fernandez, Elliot Williams, Joel Pryzbilla and Dante Cunningham.
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Why He Would Fit: After letting Amare Stoudemire walk in free agency, the Suns have a giant hole at the power forward position.
And instead of letting Amare's departure initiate a rebuilding process, Phoenix has decided to hold on to Steve Nash, and they are currently starting the oldest back-court in the NBA, with Vince Carter and Grant Hill flanking him on the wings.
Adding West would balance the team's offense and give them a front-court player who can create his own shot.
What They Could Offer: West for Goran Dragic, Marcin Gortat and Gani Lawal.
Why He Would Fit: After their blockbuster series of trades in mid-December, the Magic are "all-in". And while they significantly upgraded their team with the additions of Arenas, Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu, they did lose Rashard Lewis in the process, and the team is now significantly smaller in the front-court.
West's ability to hit mid-range jumpers would be deadly when paired with Howard down-low, and Orlando would have an absolutely fearsome offense to match their championship-caliber defense.
What They Could Offer: West and DJ Mbenga for Brandon Bass, Earl Clark, Daniel Orton and Chris Duhon.
San Antonio Spurs
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Why He Would Fit: The Spurs have struggled against "stretch 4's", athletic big men who can shoot jumpers from the perimeter, ever since Robert Horry's retirement.
DeJuan Blair is too short to contest their shots, Tim Duncan is too old to chase players around the perimeter while Matt Bonner is ... too white.
West, at 6'9, 240, could match-up with guys like Dirk Nowitzki and Lamar Odom defensively, while his ability to hit mid-range jumpers would be deadly in the Spurs' system.
What They Could Offer: West and DJ Mbenga for DeJuan Blair, James Anderson and Matt Bonner.
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Why He Would Fit: There's no team getting less out of the power forward position in the NBA than the Pacers, who only have two true 4's, Tyler Hansbrough and Josh McRoberts, on their roster.
After the firing Jim O'Brien last week, it's clear that no one's job in Indiana is safe, even Larry Bird's.
A front-court of Roy Hibbert, David West and Danny Granger would be nearly impossible to defend and would get the Pacers back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
What They Could Offer: West for Paul George, Tyler Hansbrough, Lance Stephenson, Josh McRoberts and Solomon Jones.
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Why He Would Fit: With their 25th consecutive road loss, the Wizards are nearing an NBA-record for incompetence away from home despite having a fairly talented (if young) team.
It's a team whose chemistry needs to be shaken up, and Blatche, an uncommonly talented seven-footer who has yet to figure out how to be a good teammate after six years in the league, is an obvious choice to be shipped out.
West would be a great stabilizing force for a young team, and would be a great fit with a John Wall/Javale McGee nucleus in Washington.
What They Could Offer: West and David Andersen for Andray Blatche, Kevin Seraphin and Al Thornton.
New Jersey Nets
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Why He Would Fit: While West would not be the same type of box-office draw as Carmelo Anthony, he would still offer a significant boost of front-court scoring to the Nets.
A West/Brook Lopez front-court combination would pair two extremely skilled big men who can score from the low post as well as step out and hit jumpers from 15-18 feet.
What They Could Offer: West for Derrick Favors and Kris Humphries.
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Why He Would Fit: The Bucks are a great defensive team (rated sixth in the NBA) and an abysmal offensive one (29th). They could afford to subtract some defense in order to add an All-Star scorer in the front-court.
A Jennings/West pick-and-roll would quickly become a staple of the offense in Milwaukee, and the Bucks would be all but assured of making a repeat trip to the playoffs.
What They Could Offer: West for Ersan Ilyasova, Larry Sanders and Carlos Delfino.