May 31, 2013, 11:10 AM EDT
If you are going to have a strong playoff run, do it right before you are a free agent — it makes you some extra scratch on your next deal.
Indiana’s David West is a free agent this summer and plenty of teams have watched him this playoffs and thought the same things lot of fans did: “We could use a guy like that.”
But the veteran West said again Thursday what he has said many times before — his preference is to stay with the Pacers. Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida asked him again if he wanted to stay.
“Yeah,’’ West said an interview with FOX Sports Florida after his team fell behind 3-2 in the Eastern Conference finals. “I love what we’ve been able to accomplish in the lockout season (of 2011-12) and this full season. And I just pretty much love how this group has grown together since I’ve been there.’’
West made $10 million this season, part of a two-year, $20 deal. He is a pro’s pro who at age 32 had one of his best seasons, averaging 17.1 points and 7.7 rebounds a game with a PER of 20.1. He is solid at both ends of the court, can score in the post or in the midrange, sets good picks and hits the boards. Plus, he’s rock solid in the locker room.
A couple more years in the $10 million range makes some sense.
Other teams are going to reach out with other offers and try to poach him, but unless somebody comes in over the top with a ridiculous offer he can’t refuse, West isn’t moving. There are no locks in free agency, but I’d be shocked to see West in any uniform but yellow with pinstripes next season.
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