June 13, 2016, 11:43 am
David West will decline his player option, according to Shams Charania.
By declining his option, worth $1.55 million, West will become a free agent after signing for cheap in San Antonio last offseason. There are several different plays here for West and the Spurs.
West, entering his age 36 season, could look to make some more money in this summer’s friendly cap environment from a team looking for a veteran presence. Additionally, he could also look to pursue a similar situation to what he’s leaving behind in San Antonio and sign for below market value in hopes of latching on to a championship team or go back to the Spurs after the free agency dust settles.
If West is looking to sign a hearty contract, he should be able to find a decent opportunity out there. It’s entirely possible that West was looking to bridge the gap between his time in Indiana and the rising salary cap by chasing a ring on a value contract with the Spurs. Now that he’s a free agent and the money will be flowing, he could be seeking some of the money he passed up last summer. That’d be pretty smart planning and not a bad way to spend a year, though the fact that he declined $12.6 million from the Pacers to sign with San Antonio seems to suggest it really is about a title for him.
Following that logic, it’s possible that declining his player option is part of a wink and nod agreement with the Spurs. The team may be looking to lure a max player to San Antonio this offseason, and having West off the cap would free up some additional funds. If the team signed, say Kevin Durant, West could return to the Spurs on another affordable deal. This would allow the Spurs to improve their odds at a title while keeping West in the fold. If he’s truly looking to become an NBA Champion, this is probably the route West is pursuing.
And if that isn’t the case, West is still free to sign on with any contender he sees fit.
With the looming Summer of Spending, no option can be discounted.