Most of the moves that transpire over NBA free agency allow stars to cash in on recent success in the form of bumper contracts worth millions of dollars.
With that in mind, two-time All-Star David West's decision to turn down a guaranteed $12.2 million player option to stay with the Indiana Pacers next season with little chance of getting anywhere near that amount at his next team makes his foray into free agency a bit of an anomaly.
Approaching his 35th birthday, an ambition to get a ring certainly explains part of West's motivation. Speaking today, though, the power forward revealed the Pacers' treatment of a now former teammate left him disheartened.
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"That's one thing where I wish they would have handled better was the situation with Roy. I'll be honest with you, that bothered me a little bit, and I told Roy that," he told WTHR's Bob Kravitz.
"I'm the type of guy who feels like we're all in this fight together and I'm not designed in that way to put it all on one guy. That did rub me the wrong way. That threw me off. I started some of that stuff, I started thinking "Whoaa." I just didn't feel good about that. I told Roy that it bothered me, that he's still my teammate."
The Pacers appear intent on moving on from Roy Hibbert after the former All-Star's dramatic down turn in form in the past season and a half. Their decision may work out in the long-term, but for now it appears to have played a part in them losing an experienced professional in David West.
A former first round pick with two All-Star appearances to his name and an ability to rack up points when given minutes, David West is perhaps in a better position than most to allow his morals to dictate where he plays basketball.
And it looks like he could be about to get his wish by landing with a title-challenging team.
ESPN's Marc Stein revealed today that the San Antonio Spurs are leading the race, alongside the Washington Wizards, to grab West's signature in the coming days.
With the Pacers looking unlikely to challenge for the title next season regardless, who knows if West would have stayed on in Indiana had the Hibbert situation not surfaced. As it is, though, the team's treatment of the big man didn't help their cause.
Pacers fans: Do you think your team threw Roy Hibbert under the bus? Have your say in the comments below...
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