Mavericks waive Delonte West
West was suspended twice this month for conduct detrimental to the team. His first suspension lasted less than a day, but West was never reinstated after being suspended again Thursday morning.
Sources said the Mavs were concerned that West was negatively influencing younger players on the roster. There was a belief that West, an eight-year veteran who was a valuable role player for the Mavs last season, could not handle the frustration of having to settle for another one-year, veteran-minimum contract.
West's release allows the Mavs to keep center Eddy Curry, who was claimed off waivers Thursday. With Chris Kaman dealing with a strained right calf that has sidelined him for two and a half weeks, Curry is likely to be in the starting lineup for Tuesday's season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Mavs shopped 2010 first-round pick Dominique Jones but could not find any takers for the 24-year-old guard, league sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein.
West, who has bipolar disorder, indicated in a series of tweets after the second suspension that his future in Dallas was in doubt. The eighth-year pro was involved in a pair of locker room incidents during the preseason. He was on his second straight one-year contract for the veteran minimum, which was $1.2 million this season.
Part of West's value a year ago came from being a younger, experienced player to help aging point guard Jason Kidd and another 30-something guard in Jason Terry. But the Mavericks have a much younger backcourt after getting Darren Collison from Indiana to replace Kidd when they missed out on Deron Williams and adding free agent O.J. Mayo to fill Terry's scoring role.
Dallas grabbed Curry last week after he was released by San Antonio, and he had 11 points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes in Dallas' preseason finale against Charlotte on Friday.
The fourth pick of the 2001 draft by Chicago, Curry improved his scoring averages all four seasons with the Bulls before getting traded to New York. He averaged a career-high 19.5 points per game in 2006-07 but has played just 24 games combined the past three seasons.
With West out and Curry in, the Mavericks have nine new players on their roster and should have four new starters on the floor against the Lakers with Dirk Nowitzki recovering from knee surgery. The only holdover is Shawn Marion.
"This is what we got. That's the way it is," said Marion, now second to Nowitzki in Dallas tenure. "We can't harp on it all day. We'll do what we gotta do."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.