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While the Celtics search for the defensive stopper off the bench to replace Tony Allen, the team may turn to a familiar face from the worst C’s squads of the previous decade. Recently traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, guard Delonte West may be waived by his new team while they continue to rebuild.
According to a source close to the Globe, the Celtics could be interested in West’s services for the 2010-2011 season. West originally played for the club from 2004-2007, with his departure representing a culture change in Boston. The Celtics traded West, Wally Szczerbiak, and No. 5 pick Jeff Green to the then-Seattle Supersonics for Ray Allen and Glen Davis (advantage: Celtics).
Last season with the Cavs, West averaged 8.8 points and 25 minutes in 60 games. In the playoffs against the Celtics in the second round, West (like most of the Cavs) disappeared, scoring just eight total points in the final three games of the series combined (Cleveland went 0-3).
Off the court, West has his issues as well. In a bizarre incident last year in Maryland, West was caught carrying three guns while on his motorcycle. He pleaded guilty to weapons charges in the case.
He also was rumored to have slept with the mother of LeBron James, causing the “King” to mail it in over the final three games of the series. No one has ever validated the report, but if you’re like me, you believe that when there’s smoke, there’s fire.
As long as he’s willing to take a pay cut to make the veteran minimum ($1.06 million for a player with six years of NBA service), West could be a valued contributor off the bench. He’s a solid perimeter defender (though not as strong as Tony Allen), has good quickness, can handle the ball, and has a pretty good mid-range game (much better than Tony).
West would serve as a capable backup for Ray Allen, and perhaps in a pinch he could run the point for Rajon Rondo. Hell, West was the only capable “point guard” on the roster for a time while he was here.