Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE
A sad and surprising turn of events has finally led to something we've all known was coming for days: the end of Delonte West in Dallas.
Roster News: Our PR Dept just announced that we have officially waived guard Delonte West. Our roster now stands at 15.— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) October 29, 2012
It's been rumored for almost a week now, but Delonte West is no longer a Dallas Maverick. Eddie Curry will be the 15th man on the roster and Dallas has it's team heading into Tuesday night's showdown with the Lakers.
West was quietly one of the most productive Mavericks last season (especially on a per-minute) basis. He represented a mixture of a DeShawn Stevenson and a J.J. Barea -- a competitive, fearless defender on the wing and also a creative ball-handler and scorer. He was often the starting two-guard for the Mavericks and scored almost 10 points per game while also serving as the back-up point.
I'm not sure where it all went wrong. It's pointless to speculate, Dallas will never unveil the details. It'd be wrong to point at West's bi-polar disorder and label that as the reason. Whatever it was, West caused enough of a distraction in the locker room to earn two suspensions in less than two weeks. West has tweeted and said it involved an argument between teammates that he said wasn't his fault. Whatever. The reason now is moot -- West is no longer a Maverick and Dallas has gotten a tiny-bit worse because of it.
Because let's face it: the Mavericks slim-to-none title hopes this season weren't riding on the shoulders of West. He was a nice player, a more-than solid and worthy contributor but he wasn't the linchpin of the Dallas backcourt. Sure, it was nice that West had a familiarity with Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks schemes with so many new faces, but it wasn't irreplaceable.
Also, West made the Mavericks decision easier by playing awful this preseason. Not even looking at the poor numbers he posted, West was playing bad no matter which way you looked at it. He was taking bad shots and the offense noticeably slowed to a creeping crawl once he checked into the game. He didn't seem as confident in settling down the offense like he did last year and his valuable midrange scoring almost vanished. If West had looked like the 2011-2012 West this preseason, the Mavericks coaches and front office would have had a helluva lot harder decision on their hands. Combining his preseason play with whatever happened behind the scenes, Dallas as an organization felt West was no longer needed. Such a shame.
Rodrigue Beaubois? The time is now. It also pains me to say that Dominique Jones could see an increased role as well, perhaps splitting the back-up point guard role with Beaubois. This also frees up some minutes for Dahntay Jones, perhaps entering the game with Beaubois and anchoring the reserve back court. Seeing Dahntay Jones get more minutes wouldn't be the worst thing in the world -- his shooting and defense will be welcome, especially when it seemed he was getting squeezed out of the rotation early in the preseason. Don't count out O.J. Mayo taking some time at the point, especially if that last preseason game against the Bobcats is any indication.
Either way and regardless of West's preseason play, this move hurts the Mavericks. West brought an undeniable toughness to the team and the locker room respected him greatly for that. He only played with the Mavericks during one strange season, but I feel I'll remember him more so than other one-year castoffs.
Take care, Delonte West. Hopefully this league isn't done with you just yet.
I leave you with a recent tweet of mine (shameless, I know).
If there was ever a season for Roddy Beaubois to make the ever ambiguous "leap," this is it. Let's see what you got, Rodrigue.— Josh Bowe (@Boweman55) October 29, 2012