Is there room for Delonte West?

July, 17, 2012
7/17/12
12:55
PM CT
With Monday's contract agreement with O.J. Mayo, the Dallas Mavericks are effectively stockpiling combo guards.

Of the 11 players soon to be under contract, plus three rookies to get to 14, six are guards. And that doesn't include Vince Carter, who we'll conveniently slide over to small forward. Darren Collison is the lone pure point guard and Dahntay Jones is the only true shooting guard.

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Four -- Mayo, Rodrigue Beaubois, Dominique Jones and draft pick Jared Cunningham -- are combo guards. Re-signing Delonte West would add yet one more.

So is there still room for West? President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said Tuesday that there is.

"We’d love to have Delonte back," Nelson said during an appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's "Ben & Skin Show." "Look, we’re not done. We’re continuing to kind of build the roster and put ourselves in position to contend next year."

West would first have to be agreeable to signing a deal for the Mavs' "room" exception of $2.5 million.

If he's good with that, does he make sense?

As much as West was an asset last season playing shooting guard as well as the point, he was originally signed primarily to back up Jason Kidd at point guard. When it became clear that Kidd and Carter together in the starting backcourt was not an ideal defensive tandem, West took over as the starter at shooting guard.

This season, West could easily be earmarked exclusively for point-guard duty. With Mayo, Dahntay Jones, Beaubois and even Carter locking down the 2, there might be no reason to run out the 6-foot-3 West, 28, at shooting guard. He could strictly back up the 24-year-old Collison.

Now, that might not be West's ideal situation. But it doesn't appear a starting job is there for the taking around the league, just as the mutiyear deal West is seeking might not be either.

So is there room for West? Yes. Are the Mavs and West on the same page? That's to be seen.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9