David West a Knick? Could be.
League source: David West is "very likely" to sign with the Knicks come FA. "He knew that before he chose not to opt in" with the Pacers.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) June 25, 2015
First things first: "very likely" is the lipstick-on-a-pig of speculation, and this is a rumor that raises questions. Are the Knicks really looking to sign a guy who'll be 35 when next year starts and who kinda sorta plays the same position as their franchise player and their franchise draft pick? Is West, after years contending in Indiana, really looking to sign with a team that won one more game in 82 regular season tries than Golden State did in 21 playoff games? West just declined a $12.6M option for next year. What are the odds he's looking for less money from a worse team, and not just Grant Hilling the Knicks? What are the odds the Knicks would commit cap space to West before exhausting their pursuit of all primary targets in free agency?
Last year West played his fewest minutes (29 per) since first becoming a starter in 2006, averaging 12 points and 7 rebounds along with 3.5 assists (double his turnover rate). 98% of his career field goal attempts have been two-pointers. The man is a master of the midrange and proficient at posting and passing, all doubleplus good Triangle qualities. He's aging but savvy: last year he shot 64% from three feet and in, the second-best mark of his career; the past two seasons are his first topping 50% on jumpers from 10-16 feet. His rebounding and assist percentages were both right around 20% last year. The only Knicks returning with an AST% over 20 are Jose Calderon and Alexey Shved; Cole Aldrich was the only Knick with a REB% that high in 2015.
How much do you read last year as "he's older and fading" versus "Indy's offense last year would stop a Gorgon in her tracks"? He was considered the Pacers' leader, a respected and vocal veteran the Knicks currently lack. There's more wisdom in one of his elbows than the entirety of JR Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. combined. There are legit serious questions about this possibility. What kind of years/money would it take? Does West fit this (still congealing) roster? Is he here to start, or would he consider coming off the bench? Impossible to say until other pieces start falling into place. But if the money's right and everyone's on the same page, David West's not a bad bit of "Hmm. Wasn't expecting that" in your day.