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West joins Mavericks' D-League affiliate in Texas

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Associated Press
1/25/2013 3:54:00 PM
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DALLAS -- Delonte West was acquired Friday by the NBA Development League affiliate for the Dallas Mavericks. He won't be playing for the big club again.

The former Mavericks guard is set to join the Texas Legends in the next few days, but Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says West playing for Dallas is "not gonna happen."

The eighth-year pro, who has bipolar disorder, was released in October after two suspensions in as many weeks.

"That doesn't mean I don't like Delonte, care about him as a person, want to help him get back on track," Cuban said.

Coach Rick Carlisle deferred to Cuban on the possibility of West returning, and Cuban said the reasons he didn't want West back on the Dallas roster were "not worth talking about at this point in time."

West was waived after two suspensions in as many weeks for conduct detrimental to the team. He was involved in a pair of locker room incidents during the preseason, and was on his second straight one-year contract for the veteran minimum, which was $1.2 million this season.

The first suspension of West was lifted after just a day after a meeting with president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and Carlisle.

A week later, though, he said he received a text telling him not to come to practice a week before the start of the regular season and was released a few days later. He said he was blamed for an argument that didn't involve him in the locker room after a preseason game.

West can sign with any NBA team while with the Legends, who play in the Dallas suburb of Frisco. The Legends acquired him because they were next in line to pick up players from the D-League pool when West joined it.

"This is all about opportunity," said Nelson, a co-owner of the Legends. "This is Delonte joining the league and getting back in front of NBA teams' eyes."

Dallas has been shuffling veteran guards on the roster most of the season. Derek Fisher signed in November before deciding three weeks later to return to his family in Los Angeles after injuring a knee.

Mike James is on his second 10-day contract, and the Mavericks must decide by Sunday night whether to guarantee his deal for the rest of the season.

West was a valuable role player alongside veteran guards Jason Kidd and Jason Terry last season, even starting 33 games as the backcourt struggled with injuries before he was sidelined by a broken finger. He was close to his career averages with the Mavericks, at 9.6 points and 3.2 assists.

Part of West's value a year ago came from being a younger, experienced player to help point guard Kidd and Terry. The Mavericks have a much younger backcourt in Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo.

West was suspended for the first 10 games of the 2010-11 season after pleading guilty to weapons charges in Maryland.

Delonte West (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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