ARLINGTON -– It seems a foregone conclusion that the Dallas Mavericks will eventually come to terms on a new contract with free agent point guard Delonte West.
Or, is it?
When he was healthy last season, West was a very productive player for the Mavs. And with Jason Kidd now with the New York Knicks, the Mavs may need a veteran playmaker like West around while newcomers Darren Collison and rookie Jared Cunningham pick up the offense.
“We’ve got 15 spots and 13 players are under contract,’’ general manager Donnie Nelson told fishbowlradionetwork.com on Monday. “We’ve got a little work to do yet, hopefully Delonte will slide into one of those spots.
“If that’s the case that’ll be great.’’
And if that’s not the case?
“There’s also an argument for keeping that last roster spot open, because sometimes you get lucky towards the end of the summer,’’ Nelson said. “That’s probably how we’ll play it up, unless something really good presents itself.’’
All bargains aside, the Mavs would love to have West back in the saddle. In 44 games for the Mavs this past season, West averaged 9.6 points and 3.2 assists per contest while being one of the team’s fiery leaders.
“We’re still in negotiations with his agent and we’re hopeful that we can work something out,’’ Nelson said. “Obviously he’s got options and he’s got to sort through those.
“Some of those are timing issues there. We’ve just got to continue to negotiate and talk and see if there’s a fit there.’’
Rookie forward Bernard James is expected to be the 14th Mavs player under contract. Only time will tell if West will be that 15th player.
-- Dwain Price
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