The Boston Celtics have brought the mercurial Delonte West back to Boston. Off court issues while inCleveland dominated his season last year and he lost his starting position because of it. After settling his case, the NBA has decided to suspend him for the first 10 games for the 2010-11 season.
His fall from NBA grace may just have given the Celtics an insurance policy against Rajon Rondo's shortcomings.
At 6'4" tall his wiry frame belies his strengths. He can post up smaller guards, shoot the three, handle point guard duties and make free throws. This will allow Nate Robinson to do what he does best, shoot, shoot and shoot some more.
Delonte' will make a more reliable backup to Rondo and that can only make for a fresher player during the post season.
Most teams treat the the 15th spot on their roster as fill in, Danny Ainge has treated it like gold. The Celtics can now field a complete second unit that will afford all of their starters more rest.
Doc Rivers can now call on his first 13 players and have confidence that they know what to do in crucial situations.
West's position on the team is far from secure; he has to beat out the likes of Oliver Lafayette and Tony Gaffney for the 15th spot. If he can't do that then he really doesn't deserve this golden opportunity to redeem himself.
Let us assume that it is a foregone conclusion that he does make the team. He now has to get into Doc Rivers’ rotation and fill the role Tony Allen vacated. He may not be as athletic as T. A. but he has a better basketball IQ and wont' cost the team games by going for pump fakes.
Boston also has added another player who is looking to restore his name in Von Wafer. Wafer is an inch taller than West, but is a below average defender. He might be the odd man out in the rotation, because he has been out of the NBA for a year and has to readjust to the speed of the game.
There doesn't seem to be many obstacles to Delonte’s progression up the depth chart and he is the only one that can derail his NBA future. Ainge said as much after the announcement was made.
The Celtics now have the luxury of letting Avery Bradley and Luke Harangody sit and learn without removing the focus on the team’s championship aspirations.