Keeping true to the words he spoke after acquiring Mo Williams in a trade last month, Danny Ferry was able to re-sign G Delonte West to a multi-year contract, ending a potentially nasty situation the Cavaliers didn't want a repeat of.
"We have consistently communicated our desire to keep Delonte as a member of this basketball team. His tenacity helps us on both ends of the floor and his defensive play certainly reflects how we want to play the game," said Ferry. "Contending teams need areas of strength and need depth. Having Delonte, Mo (Williams) and Daniel (Gibson) certainly creates an advantageous situation for us."
West has said all along that he wanted to stay with the Cavaliers, and he was visably relieved that the contract stalemate was over.
"This is the first time since I was offered a scholarship at St. Joes that I feel like I am valued as a person and a player. Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers have shown me that they value me as a person and a player and that was the most important thing to me," said West. "In that sense, this was not about a specific dollar amount. You can’t really put a dollar value on a person, their skills you can, but not their heart and what kind of person they are. My family is blessed and I feel a great relief to be able to concentrate on basketball now."
Acquired as part of the 3-team mega-deal last February, West went from seldom used bench player on a bad basketball team to the starting Point Guard on a team that made it deep into the playoffs. West started all 13 games in the playoffs last season, averaging 10.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.2 steals in 34.8 minutes per game.
With the deal done for West, the Cavaliers could have one of the deepest backcourts in the NBA. While it will be interesting to see how all the pieces come together, I'd imagine keeping West also allows the Cavs to go get the piece they need with Wally's expiring contract still on the books.
After last year's double-debacle with Sasha Pavlovic and Anderson Verejao, it was imperative that something, anything, got done before training camp. Kudos to both Danny Ferry and West for knowing this and coming together.
[Note by FTS, 09/12/08 4:35 PM PDT ]According to ESPN.com, the deal is for 3 years/$12.5 million. The 3rd year is a team option, which is important because that would mean the Cavs could walk away the same summer that LeBron is a free agent. The Cavs are being as active as anyone in keeping flexibility that summer, with LeBron and D-Wade, among others, becoming free agents that summer.