A day after Kevin Durant shook the NBA and signed with the Golden State Warriors, veteran forward David West decided to follow the star and sign with the Dubs over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were interested in signing the veteran big man according to Cleveland.com's Chris Haynes. With center Timofey Mozgov departing for the Los Angeles Lakers on the first weekend of free agency, the Cavs were looking for another backup big-man, a role that West could have filled, but like he did in the summer of 2015 with the San Antonio Spurs after declining a $12.6 million player option to remain with the Indiana Pacers, the forward decided to stay out west with arguably the Western Conference's best team instead of signing with the Cavaliers, who were interested at that point as well.
The Xavier University product, who just concluded his 13th season in the NBA, was contemplating retirement but decided to go the west coast, following in Durant's footsteps. In his career, West has averaged 14.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 49.2 percent from the floor. Last season, the 35-year-old averaged just 7.1 points and 4.0 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game while shooting 54.5 percent from the field in 78 games (19 starts).
At 6-foot-9, 250 pounds, West has plenty of skill on the offensive side of the ball. Coming off the bench, he would have provided plenty of offense for the wine and gold, along with plenty of scoring. However, with the loss of Mozgov, who was one of the Cavs' top rim protectors, West would not have been able to fill that same role off the bench. The offense would have been nice, but the liability on defense would have been something that every opponent would have taken advantage of, especially in the playoffs. For the Warriors, West will likely serve as a means to spell forward Draymond Green, providing ample floor space and the occasional made basket.
Although getting a guy like West for the veteran's minimum in free agency would have been nice for the Cavs, it's not that big of a loss. With him signing with the Warriors, the Cavaliers may see West in the Finals next June.