Delonte West’s contract shows Cleveland Cavaliers’ new cost-effective style
The bearish climate of restricted free agency allowed Cleveland to re-sign their player at a fair price. Yesterday, ESPN reported the Cavaliers and Delonte West had agreed to terms on a three-year, 13 million dollar contract.
Memo to executives: patience, negotiation, and using the CBA leads to affordable contracts. At least with restricted free agents.
After all, West competes. For years, he brought something tangible to some terrible Boston teams. Last season, the combo guard helped another sub par squad in Seattle. He then joined Cleveland at the trade deadline and enjoyed a strong playoff, twice scoring 21 points against the world champion Celtics in the second round.
This transaction gives the Cavaliers a strong guard rotation. Mo Williams and ‘Boobie’ Gibson will likely start at the one and two spots, while West, with his ability to play both guard positions, is an ideal backup. Most importantly, the left-hander often changes the game’s flow when he checks-in.
Cleveland didn’t compromise their financial flexibility with this signing. West’s deal is for two years and a team option in 2010-2011, so the club can terminate his contract if they need salary space to re-sign you-know-who in July 2010.
The West contract is another victory for Danny Ferry. Years ago, Cleveland’s head suit overspent on marginal free agents like Damon Jones, Donyell Marshall, and Larry Hughes. These contracts have been moved for some other bad contracts.
Give Ferry credit for learning his lesson. Last year, he out-waited Sasha Pavlovic and Anderson Vareajo, getting both to sign affordable contracts. This summer, along with the West deal, he also convinced Gibson to ink a five-year pact for a reasonable 20 million dollars.
The Cavaliers –after learning the hard way- are now prudent with contracts. Clearly, they’re better for it, too.
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