Multiple outlets, including David Aldridge of NBA.com and Marc Stein of ESPN.com are reporting that the rumored sign-and-trade deal between New Orleans Hornets and Boston Celtics is off, and David West is on the verge of signing a two-year $20M deal with the Indiana Pacers.
David Aldridge of NBA.com:
Sign/trade between Boston, NO for David West is dead, confirms ESPN.com report that Pacers closing in on signing West.
Sources also told ESPN.com that the Pacers are making progress toward a two-year deal with free-agent forward David West in the $20 million range after West’s sign-and-trade to the Boston Celtics got held up this week.
While the real reasons this proposed David West deal fell through will probably come to light in the next day or two, here’s an educated guess at the circumstances.
1) Money. The Pacers clearly had more to offer than the C’s under the restrictions of the new CBA.
2) Failure to find a landing spot for Jermaine O’Neal. J.O. let it be known he would not want to suit up for the Hornets if traded him, preferring instead to land with the Heat. My guess is the two teams couldn’t find a third willing to take on O’Neal and his $6M contract, while also providing assets that were acceptable to New Orleans.
It’s a tough situation for the C’s, as West would have been a tremendous upgrade for the offense, and could have also been very useful in keeping the minutes down for Kevin Garnett. For now though, it’s back to the drawing board for Ainge as he decides if there is anyone else in free agency or the trade market he can make a run at before settling on his final roster. The start of the regular season is just two weeks away.