The Celtics have been seeking a tough-minded defender to replace Tony Allen, now that he signed with the Memphis Grizzlies. And according to a source, their interest could spread to former Celtic Delonte West, who is expected to be waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves after the club acquired him in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday.
West, whose full contract is not guaranteed if waived by Aug. 5, could be the moderately priced defender the Celtics seek, but of course, he would come with a plethora of issues. West pleaded guilty to weapons charges in a strange case where he was caught carrying three guns while on a motorcycle in his native Maryland last year. He received eight months of home detention but the judge ruled he would be allowed to travel with his NBA team.
When he is focused, West is a solid defender with a good midrange game, better than Allen. And he enjoyed his best years while as a Celtic, including 12.2 points, 4.4 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 2006-07. He was traded shortly after that season to the Seattle SuperSonics in the Ray Allen deal.
West flourished during the 2009 playoffs for the Cavaliers, averaging 13.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in 14 games. He would be due $500,000 when waived and the Celtics could offer a minimum salary of $1.06 million for a player of six years experience.
With the pickings slim in free agency, the Celtics might entertain the idea of West, especially since there is familiarity. But the risks may outweigh the rewards.