Here are links to some of the best stories from around the web discussing the Delonte West signing. More analysis to come from Celtics Town later in the day, so check back often.
Zach Lowe, Celtics Hub: “Let’s be clear: This is a great deal for the Celtics. They are getting a league average player with major post-season experience, and they’re getting him for the minimum salary (about $1.1 million for West) and the same amount in luxury tax payments. While the Grizzlies ownership is nickel-and-diming the team’s first-round draft picks to save Rudy Gay’s beer money, the C’s ownership is throwing $2.2 million at a player with a shaky mental health history—even though the team already had 14 players under contract and one back-up (Von Wafer) playing the same position as West.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston: ”Ainge acknowledged the baggage that comes with West, but said he thinks he’s returning to a positive situation with a team that will welcome him with open arms.’There’s a familiarity with the roster and a familiarity with the players,’ said Ainge. ‘Paul [Pierce] and Rajon [Rondo], especially, were big fans having played with him. I’m a fan of Delonte.’Ainge noted the team spent a lot of time getting a grasp on West’s mental health (he suffers from bipolar disorder) and the maintenance required to help him. He said the team feels comfortable it can work with the player to keep him on track.”
Tim Povtak, NBA Fanhouse: “If chemistry really is such a big part of the success or failure of a team, like so many coaches say, then the Celtics admittedly are taking a chance. It could win them another championship. Or it could destroy what they have.’Chemistry is a delicate thing. I understand that, and I’m as cautious as anyone with it. I guarantee you, I’ll be keeping my eye on it,” Rivers told FanHouse Wednesday evening, confirming the Celtics’ addition of West earlier in the day. ‘I don’t know yet if we can make it work. It is going to be interesting, that’s for sure.’”
Jeff Clark, Celtics Blog: ”The prodigal son has returned! Delonte West was one of the most beloved Celtics in the pre-Big 3 era. He was an excellent shooter with high basketball IQ that played with reckless abandon that you can’t help but appreciate. Of course he was also inconsistent and frequently injured because of that reckless abandon. Oh yeah, and it didn’t hurt that he was perhaps the most quotable Celtic since Kevin McHale. He became a trade chip that helped us land Ray Allen and was later shipped to the Cleveland LeBrons, and thus became the enemy. But it never felt right rooting against him. When they won, the silver lining was that Delonte (and later Leon Powe) would benefit from it.”
Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don’t Lie: ”But while the last thing West needs right now is to be thinking about basketball, he needs basketball, badly. He needs a paycheck and steady dose of income and a reliable support system if he’s going to try and overcome the mental issues that have plagued him throughout his career. A long time away from the court may have been the best thing for West’s state of mind, but he’ll need an employer with a plan. He can’t work through this on his own. Hell, he needs a real team (and LeBron’s Cavaliers, as we saw in two consecutive playoff flops, were hardly the heartiest sorts) around him just to get his act together as a grown-up, because a solid chunk of West’s behavior can be chalked up to mere churlishness, and can’t be excused by his issues with depression. And on the basketball end?Picking up Delonte West, even if it’s for half a season, is always going to be a smart move. Because he can play. And he won’t put the Celtics over the top, and there may have been other teams that were crying out for his hybrid guard skills more than Boston, but Boston can really use him, and West can ably sop up minutes at either guard slot. He defends point guards better than he does shooting guards, but he’s quite capable of playing either position offensively, and the Cavs were a better defensive team with him on the court last year than they were with West on the pine.”
John Karalis, Red’s Army: ”So the addition of Delonte West gives the Celtics 12 players on the roster that legitimately deserve floor time. Twelve. Of course Perk is hurt so that knocks it down until playoff time. But it’s not like he’s not playing in the playoffs. Doc has been adamant about the “our starting 5 has not lost” thing. This means the rotations are going to be interesting. There’s no doubt, though… this team is DEEP. A series against Miami is going to be like a boxing match between a big, knockout puncher and a guy with a cement chin that won’t go down. The C’s will just send waves of players at teams. Hell, they’re almost going to be a hockey team… subbing in lines of guys on the fly. It’s going to be nuts.”