As the trade deadline nears, teams around the NBA will be looking to either make themselves better or put themselves in better financial position for the future. ‘Tis the season for the expiring contract.
The Indiana Pacers have a few expiring deals, but none more important than the one belonging to David West. The veteran power forward is in the last year of his 2-year $20 million deal with the team. In theory, it would be a trade chip that many teams would like to have and could bring back younger talent for the Pacers. However, Indiana doesn’t seem willing to relinquish one of their key players.
The Pacers seem to have no interest in moving West before the deadline, according to a report from Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio. The report states sources say the Pacers feel confident they can retain West by signing him in the off-season.
West doesn’t seem to be concerned about the situation.
“I never let that creep into my mind,” West said recently to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.com. “If I go out and just play these games night in and night out, try my best to contribute to this group, compete and try to get a win every night, everything else will take care of itself.”
Indiana has done its fair share of winning with West as a key contributor since signing him as a free agent after the 2011 lockout. The Pacers won 42 games in last year’s shortened 66-game season, finished with the 5th best record in the league and won a playoff series for the first time since 2005. This season, the team is 25-16 and leads the Central Division.
“I learned a long time ago that if the team wins then everyone wins individually,” said West. “That’s the mindset I’ve always had. It’s worked up to this point.”
The Pacers wouldn’t be in first place without West. He nearly single-handedly carried the team in the first month of the season. He’s been the one consistent force throughout the year. He has also been the unquestioned leader on the floor and in the locker room. It would not be wise to trade him before the deadline and it seems the Pacers front office have no intentions in being foolish any time soon.
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