Originally written on State Of The Celtics  |  Last updated 12/12/11



So I guess my excitement for the acquisition of David West was a bit premature.

It sounded like both sides just had to cross their t's and dot their i's before the deal was made official, Danny Ainge magician-like roster moves would have reached legendary status and the Celtics would have improved their team by leaps and bounds.

For two days, we heard that the deal was close to being done and that both sides were working hard to iron out who was going where. Then Sunday afternoon comes around and David West is an Indiana Pacer after agreeing to a two-year $20 million contract.

Wait, what?

How did this happen? The Pacers? Really? What happened to the magician and his recent hot streak of moves? According to the Boston Herald, the Los Angeles Lakers screwed everything up.

The Celts fell out of the David West running when the New Orleans Hornets couldn’t find a place to send Jermaine O’Neal (Lamar Odom going from the Los Angeles Kings to the Dallas Mavericks got in the way). New Orleans was looking for a another trade partner, but the Indiana Pacers stepped in with a two-year, $20 million deal for West, who received much more annually than the C’s were offering.
Besides, the Hornets have a bigger issue on their plate in the form of Chris Paul. New Orleans was reportedly looking to the Los Angeles Clippers yesterday for a deal, but the Celts could still get back in the running for the guard according to two sources.


I'm pretty sure the Herald meant the Lakers instead of the Kings, unless Lamar Odom is an unknown two-sport athlete. Regardless, David Aldridge reports that the Dallas Mavericks were actually looking hard at Jermaine O'Neal upon hearing that he would have been going to New Orleans and that probably would have finalized everything.

For the first week of this truncated offseason, the Mavericks were bargain hunting. They got Vince Carter for next to nothing, and had interest in Jermaine O'Neal if and when he shook free from the Celtics in that proposed sign-and-trade deal with New Orleans, because no one thought O'Neal would stay in the Big Easy.


So if the Lakers don't trade Odom, Dallas looks to deal with New Orleans regarding O'Neal since J.O. didn't want to stay there and the Hornets really didn't want him anyway. All that those two teams need to do is agree on a simple trade and it's a joyous day on Causeway Street. David West is a Celtic for a bargain basement price.

But once the Lakers offered Lamar Odom to Dallas, the Mavs bailed on the Hornets and the deal was pretty much dead. It all goes back to the nixed Chris Paul deal from Thursday night, which pissed off Odom and forced L.A. to trade him for the sake of sanity. Friggin' David Stern.

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