This summer the San Antonio Spurs have built perhaps their strongest, scariest team of the Tim Duncan era.
In addition to signing LaMarcus Aldridge and bringing back Kawhi Leonard, Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Danny Green, the Spurs have now signed NBA veteran David West, according to widespread reports.
West, amazingly, opted out of a $US12 million option with the Indiana Pacers to join a contender, and will sign with the Spurs for the veteran’s minimum, worth about $US1.5 million this season.
This is the magic of the Spurs, even if it’s happening nearly at the end of Duncan’s career. For years they have gotten their big three of Duncan, Ginobili, and Tony Parker to take paycuts to stay together. Now, when that big three is no longer good enough to carry the Spurs by itself, the Spurs get stars like Aldridge to take paycuts and sign solid role players like Green and West to discount contracts.
Although West, at 35 years old, had seen a drop-off in his game over the last two seasons, he’ll have a smaller role with the Spurs, and should fit well. He’s a tough defender, a solid rebounder, and though he’s lost a step on offence, can still kick down midrange jumpers and make smart passes.
West also helps bolster the Spurs frontcourt after they traded center Tiago Splitter to make room for Aldridge and lost backup big man Aron Baynes in free agency.
San Antonio, of course, will have to adjust to big new pieces like Aldridge and West, but on paper, the Spurs have to be considered early favourites to win the West with a revamped roster.
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