The Spurs shook the basketball world last summer by bolstering their roster with a combination of max contracts (LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard) and hometown discounts (Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Danny Green), but the Silver and Black really got some bang for their buck when former All-Star forward David West gave up a $12 million salary from the Indiana Pacers to join San Antonio for the veteran's minimum. If you watched a nationally televised Spurs game this year, odds are you heard the announcers mention David West's bargain contract several times. But should the wily vet opt to play next season, he won't be signing another veteran minimum deal.
Spurs forward David West will decline his $1.55M player option for 2016-17 and evaluate playing future, league sources tell The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 13, 2016
David West averaged 7.1 points and 4 rebounds during his first year in San Antonio, playing 18 minutes per game. The 35-year-old was indispensable to the Spurs' franchise-record 67 win campaign, missing only 3 games and starting 19 of them in relief of LaMarcus Aldridge and Tim Duncan when they were either resting or injured. His stats don't jump off the screen, but no metric could ever quantify the irreplaceable energy, toughness, and leadership David West brought on a nightly basis during the 2015-2016 season. Though West reiterated at season's end his confidence in sacrificing millions of dollars to join the Spurs, it should surprise no one that the vet minimum contract ended up being a one-year venture. He could very well retire, or the Spurs and West can come to terms on a deal closer to his actual value, or San Antonio could opt to bring in younger, more athletic players to their frontcourt. Only time will tell.