My colleague Zach Lowe speculated about the possibility last night, and sure enough, a source has told The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn the C’s could be interested in signing the former Celtic, who is likely to be waived by the Wolves:
The Celtics have been seeking a tough-minded defender to replace Tony Allen, now that he signed with the Memphis Grizzlies. And according to a source, their interest could spread to former Celtic Delonte West, who is expected to be waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves after the club acquired him in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday.
Now a couple things before we proceed any further with this report. First off, I’m not crazy about Washburn’s wording here. A source reports that the C’s COULD be interested? Really? That’s worth a story?
I’m speculating about it here, so I’m just as much at fault I guess, but it seems Washburn is putting the cart in the front of the horse entirely here, by reporting on the potential of there being potential interest.
That’s neither here nor there though. The C’s obviously need another shooter/wing and the options are very limited, as are the C’s means of filling them. West is a guy that would certainly upgrade the bench behind Rondo/Ray, giving the team a small, but solid second team of guards consisting of him and Nate Robinson, with Avery Bradley lurking.
Here’s the question though; would West be willing to come here for the veteran’s minimum, if the C’s are actually interested in his services, once waived?
Delonte’s numbers make the answer to that question look like a resounding no. He is just 27 years old, and despite having a down year last season, still was a key rotation member in the Cavs backcourt last year.
That being said, he comes with a plethora of well chronicled issues. The weapons charges, going AWOL a couple times, and other rumored conflicts in Cleveland, made the Cavs want to part ways with him. The Wolves, a point guard’s favorite landing spot, want West just to save money, by waiving his modest contract (4.5 million for next year) for only 500 thousand against the cap.
Knowing this, despite his problems, West can almost certainly get more than the veteran’s minimum somewhere next year (though probably not much more). Would he be willing to take less in Boston for some familiarity, stability and a chance to resurrect his career?
You’d think he would consider that. I know, I would if I were Danny Ainge. He’s played for Doc before, and was one of the few bright spots for those squads in the mid 2000′s before being shipped out of town in the Ray Allen deal. By all accounts, he enjoyed Boston while he was here, without the baggage that plagued him these past two seasons in Cleveland.
Ainge isn’t afraid to take risks in potential free agents he think might help. With West, it may be a marriage that makes sense for both sides.