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Boston misses mark, David West to sign with Pacers

Dec 11, 2011, 3:47 PM EDT

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David West to the Boston Celtics made some sense — not a perfect fit but the best player on the free agent market the Celtics could seem to get. Rajon Rondo was going to love having one of the best pick-and-pop bigs in the game to work with.

Instead, Darren Collison is going to love having David West around.

The deal to the Celtics fell apart and the Pacers have stepped in with a two-year, $20 million deal to get West, according to Adrian Wojnarowski with Yahoo. West had spent his entire career with the New Orleans Hornets, where he and Chris Paul were as good a pick-and-pop tandem as there was in the league.

This is a blow to the Celtics, who are looking to add some scoring to a lineup of veterans that can certainly defend but need a little something more to knock off the Heat and Bulls now. West would have been a step in that direction.

On the flip side, this is a smart move by Larry Bird. Yes, West is coming off knee surgery that had him miss half the season, but this was not a guy who plays above the rim anyway. He is the stretch four the Pacers were looking for (see Dunleavy, Mike), someone that will work well with Collison and Danny Granger. Roy Hibbert will like having him as the other big, and you get to bring Tyler Hansbrough as a scorer off the bench. It’s a move that makes the Pacers better.

And at a fair price — $10 million a year for a two-time All-Star (2009 most recently) who you can count on for 19 points and 7.5 rebounds a game. Consistently. That is an upgrade for the Pacers who are not contenders but just got better at a reasonable price.

Larry Bird has as much cap space as anyone and he just sat back, waiting out the market and pounced on a good deal when it presented itself. Well played, Mr. Bird. Well played indeed.

  1. acdc363 - Dec 11, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    Thanks a lot larry

  2. bparmalee - Dec 11, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Good solid signing by my Pacers. Two years is perfect and he fills a huge hole. As long as he can stay healthy we can keep Tyler Myearhurtsbrough off the floor. Though id I know Tyler he will push to start at the 2.. since thats what he thinks he is.

  3. brooklynbulls - Dec 11, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    If West returns to form and the Pacers manage to pull off the McRoberts/Mayo trade as well, this team could be a headache for the eastern confernce this year. Yeh, thanks alot Larry

  4. rca26 - Dec 11, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    I love it. It’s been sluggish, but with some good drafts, some good trades and some savvy pickups, the Pacers have finally put together what looks to be a competitive, well-rounded team.

    They’re not gonna compete with the mega-market star parties, but I’d imagine this team should be comfortably within playoff position all year.

  5. bparmalee - Dec 11, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    People want to blame Larry but its the new NBA. No players want to play in these markets. Its almost impossible to get a free agent to come to Indy or any small market. This is the first free agent the Pacers in years thats even half decent. thats not Larry… people just wont come play there.

  6. jbthedon - Dec 11, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    The pacers are going to be a problem this year especially if Hibbert gets better

  7. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Dec 11, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    Good stuff from the organization. The window is open to grow some fans given the NFL struggles in Indianapolis.

  8. cluelessdufus - Dec 13, 2011 at 2:59 AM

    if west can recover from the torn acl and stay as he is this makes a great addition not just for granger and collison it makes better for die hard pacers fans

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