Five things to know about Delonte West’s return to Boston
|09.01.10 at 11:57 pm ET|
On Wednesday, the Celtics signed free agent guard Delonte West. It has been three years since West left Boston, and the 27-year-old has taken a long journey — both professional and personal — to get back. Here are five things to know about West’s return to the Celtics:
1. This Isn’t His First Time Around: The Celtics drafted West with the 24th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft. West was in the same rookie class as Al Jefferson (18th pick) and Tony Allen (25th pick). He played his first three seasons in Boston, averaging 8.3 points, 3.8 assists, and 3.2 rebounds. During that time, West made his mark with his aggressive play and hustle on the court. However, he was traded to the SuperSonics in 2007 as part of the Ray Allen trade.
2. Short-Lived in Seattle: West’s time on the SuperSonics is now a blip in his six-year career, but it was a stop that eventually led him to title contention. West played in 35 games for the SuperSonics (30 off the bench) and averaged 6.8 points in 20.8 minutes.
Just minutes before the 2008 trade deadline, West was sent to the Cavaliers in a three-team deal. He didn’t spend much time in Seattle but, as the video shows, it was enough for him to leave his mark on his teammates.
3. Championship Hunting in Cleveland: West jumped right into the Cavs system and started the remainder of the 2007-08 season. That year the Cavaliers reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals before being eliminated by the Celtics in Game 7. West averaged 10.8 points in his first postseason appearance since 2005.
He started every game he played the following season and posted nearly 14 points while shooting 46.5 percent from the field during the Cavs playoff run. Last season West came off the bench, contributing 8.8 points, 3.3 assists and 2.8 rebounds.
During this time, West played alongside Shaquille O’Neal. He proved his versatility as a reserve, a role the Celtics will look for him to fill, while gaining valuable postseason experience.
West was traded from the Cavaliers to the Timberwolves this summer, before being waived by the T-Wolves.
4. Troubles Along the Way: West’s time with the Cavs wasn’t seamless, though. Last September, he was arrested on weapons charges after being pulled over for speeding in Maryland. He recently pled guilty to the charges and will be suspended for the first 10 games of the season.
West also struggled with what has been described as a “mood disorder” and missed part of the 2008 preseason to seek help.
5. A Fan Favorite Returns: In spite of his off-the-court issues — and the fact that he was a postseason foe — West remains a fan favorite in Boston. The impact of his quirky personality has lingered since the 2007 trade, and his on-camera comedy is still a must-see by Celtics faithful.
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