Last summer, then 35-year-old power forward David West declined a $12.5 million player option with the Pacers in order to sign a one-year, $1.4 mil veteran's minimum deal with the Spurs. West wanted to win a championship, and he passed up more than $11 million to try to do it. That plan didn't work out, so today West inked a $1.3 mil contract (again the veteran's minimum) with the new super-team Warriors.
People will knock West's "ring chasing," but I couldn't disagree more. It's one thing if you're a Kevin Durant or a LeBron James--the type of superstar who can potentially lead a squad to a title on your own. It's also a different story if you're a washed-up-probably-should-retire guy trying to snag a championship before calling it quits. West is neither. In 78 games for San Antonio in 2015-16, he averaged 7.1 points and 4.0 rebounds in 18 minutes per contest on a loaded Spurs club. With a bad team, he would've seen a lot more playing time.
In a market where Evan Turner was handed $70 million for four years, it seems quite likely West could've earned himself at least $10 mil per for the next couple seasons. A pro athlete taking a salary that's roughly 10 percent of what he could make in order to play for a winner is something we just don't see, let alone twice.