Doc Rivers says Clippers are considering Delonte West for a final roster spot

Jul 14, 11:19 PM

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Delonte West must have impressed the Los Angeles Clippers in his first two appearances at Summer League in Las Vegas.

Even though he's only totalled 16 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals over 53 minutes, the Clippers are said to be considering the 30-year-old veteran for one of their final roster spots.

Head coach Doc Rivers indicated on Monday that the Clippers have two veteran minimum contracts left to use, and West is being considered along with a number of other players. His willingness to try and earn a spot through Summer League despite his veteran status is surely sending the right message to Rivers and company.

Making an NBA roster would mark quite the comeback for West, who hasn't played in the league the past two seasons. Rivers and West are familiar from their time together in Boston, and with the Clippers already into the luxury tax and somewhat thin at guard, a familiar face at a minimum price may be a good fit.

Jul 21, 10:15 AM

Clippers' Rivers on Delonte West: 'I just think he’s far more mature now'

Jul 21, 10:15 AM

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Doc Rivers was well versed on Delonte West's checkered past prior to him giving the 30-year-old a chance at summer league, and so far, West has been a model citizen. 

The guard has been out of the league since 2012, plying his trade in the development league as well as China. Rivers made a few calls prior to his invitation to West and all of them had glowing reviews about how he's matured from when he was last in the league. 

“You check all of that out — no doubt,” Rivers told the Boston Herald. “I got calls from several people in the D-League and in China who said he’s ready for this. He has a baby and a fiancee now. A lot of things have been going right for him.

“I just think he’s far more mature now. He’s given up a lot in his life, and he wants to do well. He still has a disease (bipolar disorder) that he has to fight every day. I know he’s doing everything he can to get back into the league, and it’s nice to see him here."

West has made the most of his brief summer league experience, averaging six points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 22.3 minutes over three games. However, an abundance of options at the guard position for Rivers might not bode well for the former first-round pick chances of making the team. 

“I have no idea,” Rivers said when asked if West will be asked to attend training camp. “Right now we have 1,000 guards. But if the situation fits, then we’ll see.”

Whatever the outcome for West, Rivers is rooting for him. 

“He has his issues, but he’s not a bad kid,” said Rivers. “He’s battled depression, and a lot of people have never conquered that. But you absolutely pull for him, and the reason is the way he plays and pours himself into the game.

“Maybe that’s why our relationship was so close. Fans love guys who give everything, and Delonte is one of those guys.”

Feature photo courtesy of US Presswire/Daniel Shirey

Jul 7, 8:11 PM

Delonte West officially on Clippers' Summer League roster

Jul 7, 8:11 PM

As expected, Delonte West will continue his attempt to make it back to the NBA with a stop in Las Vegas, playing with the Summer League team of the Los Angeles Clippers.

While this had been anticipated, it was only made official with Monday's release of the team's roster for the tournament, which begins on Friday.

West has been out of the NBA for more than two years but is still just 30 years old, boasting an obvious NBA skill set (including 3-point shooting and wing defense) if he can prove himself a locker room positive. The Clippers would be a good landing place given his history with Doc Rivers in Boston.

The mercurial West split last season between China and the D-League and nearly caught on with several teams toward the end of the season. You can catch up on what West's been doing in the post below.

Jun 5, 5:57 PM

Report: Delonte West to play for Clippers at Summer League

Jun 5, 5:57 PM

More than two years removed from his last appearance in an NBA game, Delonte West is trying to make his way back to the league.

West spent last season playing in China after spending time in the D-League before that, and the next step is an audition at Summer League, where he has agreed to suit up for the Los Angeles Clippers.

From CSNNW:

His unwavering desire to once again play at the highest level is a goal he’s fixated on procuring for next season, one of the sources explained. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity due to an official announcement yet to be made by the team.

Clippers head coach and Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations, Doc Rivers, has always been fond of West as a player and a person dating back to when he coached him as head coach of the Boston Celtics.

The New York Knicks and the Clippers both considered signing West toward the end of this NBA season but ultimately opted against it, according to the report. Instead, he'll look to impress against the youngsters and never-weres of the NBA world.

What West can bring to the table is already well known, however, as he spent eight years in the league with four different teams, averaging 9.7 points and 3.6 assists while shooting 37.2 percent from long range.

The question will be whether he can still contribute at age 30 (31 when the NBA season starts), and if he can fit within a team's culture.

Note: Slate has an excellent article up on West's journey through the NBA and afterward, as well as his battle with bipolar disorder. It's worth a read.