David West made a surprising decision when he declined a $12 million option to remain with the Indiana Pacers. He might have one-upped himself.
According to Sam Amick of USA Today, the free agent power forward wants to win a championship, so West is targeting teams—the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs—he believes will be contenders next seasons.
Per Bob Kravitz of WTHR, West believes his best chance for a ring is outside of Indiana:
“At this point in my career, I just want to win. I’m just not sure the Pacers are in title contention right now. I’m going into my 13th season. I’ll be 35 soon. When I got to Indiana, there was hope of getting there and we played at a really high level for a couple of years. But I just don’t know if the team is in the position to win right now and I didn’t know if I’d have that opportunity to win a title if I’d stayed with the Pacers.”
Amick notes West must take a significant paycut to play for either of Golden State or San Antonio. The Warriors have spent a strong majority of their cap space on Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, while the Spurs opened room to pursue LaMarcus Aldridge.
To join the defending champions in the Bay Area, West would likely be forced to accept the veteran’s minimum—worth $1.5 million. If San Antonio misses on LaMarcus Aldridge, the team will have space to give West a larger contract. But if the Spurs nab Aldridge, West would again be relegated to the veteran’s minimum.
West averaged 11.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game last season. According to Basketball-Reference.com, he’s earned more than $75 million throughout his 12-year NBA career.
Photo: USA Today Sports