Source: Lakers eye Delonte West
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The Lakers appear to have emerged as the Mavericks' main competitor for guard Delonte West, writes Jeff Caplan. Blog
West, who turns 29 this week, averaged 9.6 points, 3.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game for the Dallas Mavericks last season. He appeared in just 44 games because of a fractured right ring finger and picked up one of the more bizarre fines in league history when he was docked $25,000 for giving Utah's Gordon Hayward a "wet willy."
West shot 46.1 percent from the floor and 35.5 percent on 3-pointers, and the Lakers view him as a versatile player who could back up both Kobe Bryant at shooting guard and Steve Nash at point guard while bringing his outside touch to a team that ranked 25th in the NBA in 3-point accuracy last year (32.6 percent).
The Lakers have had West, a career 37.2 percent 3-point shooter, on their radar ever since hiring Mike Brown as their coach last summer. West played for Brown on the Cleveland Cavaliers from the middle of the 2007-08 season through the end of 2009-10, serving as a key cog on a Cavs team that led the league in wins in consecutive seasons.
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While the Lakers still have the mini mid-level exception available to sign an incoming free agent (starting at $3 million a season), general manager Mitch Kupchak told ESPNLosAngeles.com last week that he would be surprised if the team uses it.
That means the Lakers would only be looking to add the lefty combo guard for a one-year veteran's minimum contract, worth approximately $1.3 million for West, who has eight years experience.
West publicly has stated his interest in returning to the Mavs, but seeks a multiyear deal according to ESPNDallas.com's Jeff Caplan.
While there is clear interest from the Lakers' side, West's signing is not considered imminent as L.A. is wary about locking up its remaining open roster spots while a Dwight Howard deal -- that will surely be multi-player or even multi-team when eventually completed -- is still on the table.