The Celtics continued their free agent signing blitz on Friday, as Yahoo! Sports' Adam Wojnarowski reported that the team is close to a deal that would send Jermaine O'Neal to the New Orleans Hornets for David West.
West is a 6'9" power forward who has averaged 16.4 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game since being drafted out of Xavier in 2003. West is coming off a 2010-11 campaign that saw his season cut short by an ACL tear.
Since then, he has been rehabbing his knee in North Carolina; the lockout has no doubt given him extra time to get back to full health, which is a huge plus considering what he brings to the Celtics.
When healthy, West is a solid presence in the paint, with good scoring and rebounding ability down low. He can also step out and use his mid-range shooting as an additional offensive weapon, making him a huge upgrade over Jermaine O'Neal if this deal goes through.
The Celtics were clearly trying to get younger this offseason, and this is just the way to do it. West has a more multifaceted game than JO ever had, and despite his smaller size, he can play tough in the paint, especially with KG alongside.
Bottom line? This is a great acquisition for the Celtics if West can stay healthy. If he does, then the Celtics are once again a very potent team, and if team chemistry can develop, another title run is still very much a possibility.
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