The Indiana Pacers are amidst a 5 game losing streak, and are struggling to find any sort of rhythm. David West has been his normal self, averaging 13.2 points, 6.3 rebounds per game, and as always his tough guy persona.
With a 7-14 record, things arent looking great. With only 5 players under contract next season (6 if you count Hibbert, player option). It seems likely, or at least makes sense that they would trade David West to a title contender, for younger players or possibly a draft pick. The Pacers will need to move in a different direction soon, and this seems like a move that makes a lot of sense.
Now its not to say that Larry Bird wont trade West, and they will make a run at the playoffs. But it seems unlikely, and if they’re record is like this when all star weekend rolls around; he just might pull the trigger.
Possible Landing Spots for West:
1. Phoenix Suns: This trade could make sense for both teams. The Suns are in desperate need of more talented veterans and need that extra boost to make them more of a contender. As for the Pacers, they’ve expressed much interest in point guard and Steve Nash prodigy Goran Dragic. After they offered Roy Hibbert for him last offseason, this offer could look a little more enticing. If the Pacers did make an offer it would be West and a 2nd rounder for Dragic and someone low on salary like T.J. Warren or Archie Goodwin. According to the ESPN trade Machine, it would have a negative effect on the Suns. So if they would not be willing, they could offer this for young talent Isiah Thomas. Regardless it would be somewhat easy to work a trade with Wests’ team friendly contract.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers: This trade might be the most enticing and helpful to both teams. The Cavs with maybe the worst bench in the NBA this year, in terms of scoring; this could help tremendously. I’ve put together a trade on ESPN’s Trade Machine, that involves David West and Rodney Stuckey being sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. It works money wise, and would help both teams in the most needed areas. The Pacers with age and the Cavs with bench scoring. Also considering Waiters has been struggling in his new role with Cleveland and has had trouble adjusting. He would be better off in a Pacers uniform and his talent would not have to take a backseat to the Big Three.
3. New York Knicks: This is of course the least game changing, for either team and wouldn’t likely make a huge difference, unless draft picks are involved. The trade that works money wise is yet again David West and Rodney stuckey, for Andrea Bargnani and Iman Shumpert. This provide another solid veteran to the Knicks and younger talent to that Pacers. Now this would be the least likely of trades and probably wont happen. But still is an interesting thought none the less. According the ESPN’s Trade Machine, it would not effect the projected wins of either team.
Other Options: Recently the Charlotte Hornets have apparently been ‘aggressively shopping’ a struggling Lance Stephenson. And just so happens that they are in need of a solid power forward with the struggles of Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh. This could work money wise as well, that is if Larry Bird is willing to trade back for the player he groomed that ran away. The ideal trade would be Lance Stephenson and Noah Vonleh/Cody Zeller for David West and Rodney Stuckey. However this also seems unlikely, it is possibility.
Now, none of these trades are eminent and I do not have a source confirming that Bird is shopping West; but if the Pacers struggle. The likelihood of a trade will grow, and the possibilities will widen.