David West certainly brings a lot to the table. He has brought grit and intimidation to an Indiana Pacers team that was never expected to be so competitive this late in the postseason.
Atlanta saw firsthand what kind of difference West can make when the 6’9” 240lb power forward helped the Pacers dispatch the Hawks in six games during the first-round of the NBA playoffs. Now, a new report links the Hawks as a possible suitor for West this off-season.
West is coming off a solid year, averaging 17.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Should the Hawks sign West, it would signal a few things. First, Josh Smith would almost certainly be pushed out of the picture as a Smith/West/Horford frontline would be both expensive and somewhat awkward. Second, it would mean a permanent move to the center position for Horford, which he has proven to be very capable of handling.
West can even help pick up where Josh Smith left off as a crisp passing duo with Al Horford. The Pacers have stressed sharing the ball and as a result West has the most assists per 36 minutes of his career, and an impressively high assist percentage for a forward.
Can he defend as well as he has this season without the massive Roy Hibbert beside him?
It’s hard to see the Hawks, even with ample cap space, offering West a large, long-term deal at the age of 32. In addition, West has stated that he desires to stay in Indiana after this season. Still, this is definitely a story to watch as we head towards free agency on July 1.