Meanwhile, Delonte West gives the Mavs some of the best elements both of those guys offered.
At least, that’s the Mavs’ hope for West, although that seems to be expecting a lot from a man who signed a one-year, minimum-salary contract.
“West is a guy that can give us Barea’s penetration,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He can give us Stevenson’s edginess and toughness.”
Added president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson: “It’s almost kind of the perfect combination of those two guys.”
West will be the Mavs’ primary backup point guard. They hope he can adequately fill Barea’s shoes as a pick-and-roll ballhandler and scoring point guard for the second unit.
West, a starter on a 66-win Cleveland team a few years ago, will also be counted on to occasionally fill Stevenson’s shoes as a heavily tattooed defensive stopper who gets under the skin of opponents.
“You talk about a guy that’s gutsy,” Nelson said. “Without DeShawn, we’re missing a little of that mental, take-no-prisoners toughness. That’s what [West is] all about. He’s a winner. He’s not afraid of any situation.”
West does come with some off-the-court baggage. According to reports, he was arrested in 2009 after police found four weapons -- a Beretta 9mm, a Ruger .357 magnum, a shotgun (in a guitar case) and a Bowie knife -- after pulling over West for negligent driving on a three-wheel motorcycle. West, who has bipolar disorder, pleaded guilty to two charges and was sentenced to home detention and probation.
However, West’s character isn’t a concern for the Mavs. They see him as a gym rat who gives them a needed dose of nastiness.
“Listen, I like milk drinkers, but I don’t like too many milk drinkers,” Carlisle said. “We need guys that are edgy, that bring attitude.”