Source: Delonte West done with Mavs
The team is in the process of negotiating terms of West's departure with his agent, Dan Fegan, after the fiery guard was suspended Thursday for conduct detrimental to the team. It was the second time the team suspended West in two weeks, although the first suspension lasted only 21 hours, ending after West met with coach Rick Carlisle and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson.
The source said both suspensions stemmed from frequent behavioral missteps by West, an eight-year veteran who was a valuable role player for the Mavs last season, averaging 9.6 points and 3.2 assists while playing tenacious defense at both guard spots.
The Ben & Skin Show
ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon discusses the latest news surrounding Mavs G Delonte West's suspension.
When reached by ESPNDallas.com on Thursday morning, West said he was being blamed for an argument between teammates after the Mavs' 88-76 exhibition loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night in Wichita, Kan. He said he got a text Thursday morning telling him not to come to the American Airlines Center for practice.
"There was an argument between two teammates in the locker room last night that didn't involve me," said West, who had two points, one assist and three turnovers in 21 minutes against the Thunder. "Somehow I'm being blamed for it. I had nothing to do with it. I don't know what's going on."
Mavs management was concerned about West's influence on the young players on the roster, the source said. There was a strong feeling that West could not contain his frustration over being signed to a one-year, veteran-minimum contract for the second consecutive season and being part of a logjam among reserve guards.
The options the team and Fegan are discussing include giving West a buyout, waiving him or reaching a mutual decision to part ways, in which West would be free to sign with another team but would not be paid by the Mavs.
The Mavs could also continue West's suspension without pay, but they would like to have an open roster spot after claiming center Eddy Curry off waivers and agreeing to non-guaranteed deals with swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts and center/forward Melvin Ely on Thursday.
West indicated on Twitter earlier Thursday that he didn't expect to return to Dallas.
"If I'm not what u lookin 4 ....That's fine...just dont kick me in my ass on the way out the door....I didn't do anything to deserve that..." West tweeted, followed two minutes later by: "I love the city of Dallas..I love playin in the NBA...no I'm not off my meds...no I ain't on no bipolar trip...this real people lives....And it just ain't right..imma leave it at that..no ill will towards no one...I'm just sittin here across from the arena wit tear in my eyes."
Carlisle addressed his team briefly about West's suspension before Thursday's practice but declined to discuss it with the media, referring to a statement the team released saying it would have no further comment on the issue.
"We're losing a competitor," said Vince Carter, who planned to call his friend. "That's just plain and simple. He's a competitor. We all know that. You just hate to see everybody going through their differences, because that's one guy you can rely on."
Carlisle had suspended West for conduct detrimental to the team Oct. 15 after a locker-room outburst. The Mavericks reinstated West less than 24 hours later after he met with Carlisle and Nelson.
The team would not elaborate on the outburst at that time.
"There was an outstanding issue, and we needed to talk about it," Carlisle said after the initial suspension. "He needed to refocus, and he's in the process of doing that. It's going to be work. It's going to be daily work for him to do that, and I've got to help him and our organization is going to help him, too. It's not that big a deal."
West has had run-ins with the law in the past and revealed in 2009 that he suffers from bipolar disorder. He was suspended for the first 10 games of the 2010-11 season after pleading guilty to weapons charges in Maryland. Authorities say he was carrying three loaded guns and a knife when he was stopped for speeding on a three-wheel motorcycle in 2009.