David West wants to join a true contender and a person familiar with the situation said he has "serious interest in playing for the San Antonio Spurs or Golden State Warriors," reports USA Today's Sam Amick.
"At this point in my career, it's all about winning," West told WTHR.com when asked why he had opted out of Indiana. "And again, I don't want to be in a position where we're just fighting to make the playoffs, I want to be in a spot where we can legitimately taste the Finals."
West believes the Warriors and Spurs would afford him that chance but it's hard to see a fit from a financial standpoint.
To play for the current NBA champions, West would have to agree to play for the minimum. The Warriors can't offer the mid-level exception or engineer a sign-and-trade because they are above the apron and would have a hard time getting below it in the transaction. That means West would go from having the chance of getting paid $12.6 million by staying in Indiana to getting only $1.5 million in Oakland.
The Spurs have a little more room to maneuver, as they could have cap space if they strike out on LaMarcus Aldridge as well as the room exception worth $2.8 million even if they sign the former Trail Blazer. A sign-and-trade centering around Patty Mills would also be an option if Indiana was interested and it would allow West to make around $5 million.
It doesn't seem likely for West to land in one of his reportedly two preferred destinations but he won't settle for playing for a rebuilding team, saying that the rumors about him joining the Knicks are ridiculous. It will be interesting to see who has the combination of contender status and financial flexibility to land the 34-year-old power forward.