So much for the theory that small-maket teams can not attract big name Free Agent players. The “Indianapolis Star” has reported that the Indiana Pacers have signed Free Agent power forward David West to a two-year deal said to be worth $20 million. The former New Orleans Hornets All-Star forward opted out of the last year of his deal with the Hornets to test the waters of Free Agency and apparently found the water much to his liking. West will most likely become the starter at power forward for the Pacers, teaming up with Danny Granger and supplanting Tyler Hansbrough who will now be relegated to the bench.
New Orleans had been pursuing a sign and trade deal that would have sent the veteran forward to the Boston Celtics, however the Hornets did not want to assume the last year of the contract of Celtics center Jermaine O’Neal. When that deal fell apart the Pacers swooped in and signed West. The veteran’s agent Lance Young told the paper “David looks at the Pacers as a good young team with a lot of potential. He feels his experience and leadership will help a team like the Pacers. He was excited that Jeff Foster re-signed with them. He feels like Indiana is the best spot for him and his family.”
West most likely would have been one of the elite Free Agents this year if not for the fact that he blew out his left ACL last March, leading to season ending surgery. The 31-year-old forward has played eight seasons in the Association, all with the Hornets the club that selected him in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft. He has averaged 16.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2 assists per game so far in his NBA career.