FRISCO, TEXAS (AP) - Guard Delonte West was acquired by the Texas Legends on Friday, setting him up in the NBA Development League three months after Dallas released him following a pair of suspensions.
West can sign with any NBA team while playing for the Legends, just as he could have as a free agent after the Mavericks let him go. The Legends acquired him because they were next in line to pick up players from the D-League player pool when West joined it.
“This is all about opportunity,” said Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, a co-owner of the Legends. “This is Delonte joining the league and getting back in front of NBA teams’ eyes. And all his options are open, for all 30 teams.”
Dallas has been shuffling veteran guards on the roster since West’s release in October. Derek Fisher joined the Mavericks in November before deciding three weeks later to return to his family in Los Angeles after injuring a knee. Mike James is on his second 10-day contract, and the Mavericks must decide by Sunday night whether to guarantee his deal for the rest of the season.
West was waived after two suspensions in as many weeks for conduct detrimental to the Mavericks. West, an eighth-year pro who has bipolar disorder, was involved in a pair of locker room incidents during the preseason, and was on his second straight one-year contract for the veteran minimum, which was $1.2 million this season.
The first suspension of West was lifted after just a day after a meeting with Nelson and coach Rick Carlisle. A week later, though, he said he received a text telling him not to come to practice a week before the start of the regular season and was released a few days later. He said he was blamed for an argument that didn’t involve him in the locker room after a preseason game.
West was a valuable role player for Dallas last season, even starting 33 games as the backcourt struggled with injuries before he was sidelined himself by a broken finger. He was close to his career averages with the Mavericks, at 9.6 points and 3.2 assists per game.
West was suspended for the first 10 games of the 2010-11 season after pleading guilty to weapons charges in Maryland. Authorities say he was carrying three loaded guns and a knife when he was stopped for speeding on a three-wheel motorcycle in 2009.
Part of West’s value a year ago came from being a younger, experienced player to help point guard Jason Kidd and Jason Terry. The Mavericks now have a much younger backcourt in Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo.