Delonte West waits as Mavs pursue Deron Williams
07/01/2012 10:52 PM
07/02/2012 9:21 AM
FRISCO -- Delonte West knows he has to exercise some patience during one of the most important off-seasons in the Dallas Mavericks history.
West is a free-agent guard who would love to know if he'll be staying with the Mavs. But the eight-year veteran also knows he is not at the top of the Mavs' free agency wish list.
That honor belongs to Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams, who will meet today in New York with coach Rick Carlisle, general manager Donnie Nelson and team rep Michael Finley as they attempt to convince him to sign a four-year, $75 million free agent contract with the Mavs.
While the Mavs' primary focus is on Williams, West will have to wait.
"Free agency is kind of tricky," West said. "First and foremost, you always want to go after the guys at the top of free agency, guys that can definitely put your team over the top. After that I think the dominoes will fall into place."
West signed a one-year, $1.18 million free-agent contract with the Mavs last Dec. 13 and endured a season riddled with injuries.
West played 44 games, including 33 starts, and averaged 9.6 points and 3.2 assists in 24.1 minutes per game. He shot 46.1 percent from the field, 35.5 from 3-point range and 88.6 percent of his free-throw attempts.
The Mavericks like his aggressiveness. But they haven't given West a commitment.
"Obviously I'd love to remain here in Dallas," West said.
West missed 21 games after he had his fractured right ring finger surgically repaired.
He has declared the injury completely healed, and even played in Dirk Nowitzki's Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game this past Saturday at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
For now, though, West has to let the business side of the NBA run its course.
"Beyond personal feelings of wanting to be here and liking the city and liking everything about the organization, as business goes I think that my game and what I bring to the table definitely will be an asset to this team," West said. "From that sense, I've got my mind set on being here in Dallas.
"But it's a business. I've been around for nine years, so things can change in 24 hours."
That could be the case in regard to Williams, who said he wants his basketball future determined by Wednesday.
Williams is deciding between the Mavs and Nets because he's leaving Thursday for Las Vegas to begin training camp for the Olympics.
West understands all the fuss being made about Williams, who is this summer's marquee free agent.
"Every team in the NBA would love to get a player of his caliber," West said. "He does so many things well.
"With a team that's already established and has the pieces to get back to the championship, him coming to a team like Dallas will definitely let your team get right back in the top of the Western Conference and give you a chance to play for a championship."
If and when that time comes, West just wants to be in that number. In the meantime, he has to exercise some patience.
"I think everybody in free agency, we've got to wait and see what happens with Williams," West said.
"That's just the nature of the beast. That's just how this league is. I'm just patiently waiting my turn."
Mavericks make calls
Other free agents on the Mavericks' list include Marcus Camby, C.J. Miles, Steve Nash, Ray Allen, Josh Howard, Joel Przybilla, Brandon Roy, Hasheem Thabeet and Dallas Wilson product Anthony Randolph.
With one of Nash's idols, Wayne Gretzky, as its recruiter, the Toronto Raptors offered Nash a three-year, $36 million contract on Sunday.
Nash reportedly also met with the New York Knicks on Sunday.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760
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