Central Notes: West, Jennings, Horford

David West felt that staying with the Pacers would have been a risky move because of his desire to get a championship ring, he told Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star during a Q&A session. The veteran power forward shocked the basketball world by declining his $12.6MM player option with the Pacers to sign for approximately $1.5MM with the Spurs during the offseason. But West couldn’t bear the thought of sitting out another postseason. “It really came down to watching the playoffs for the first time in how many years, not being in the playoffs and then ultimately watching the Finals and just saying: ‘[Forget] it, man. You can’t roll the dice next year.’ Because that’s what I felt I would be doing,” West told Buckner.  “People were telling me: ‘Opt in and then demand a trade!’ That’s just not me. I’ve never been motivated by money.”

In other news around the Central Division:

  • Brandon Jennings will not jump into the Pistons’ rotation during their two-game road trip prior to Christmas, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com reports. Jennings still hasn’t regained all of his lateral mobility, despite playing 27 minutes for the team’s D-League affiliate in Grand Rapids on Saturday night. “I think more on the defensive end, I’m still having trouble right now pushing off, trying to get through screens, which is still expected,” Jennings told Langlois. “So my lateral movement is something I have to work on.” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy told Langlois that Steve Blake would remain the backup point guard for time being.
  • Pistons center Andre Drummond is averaging 18.2 points and a league-high 16.4 rebounds and Celtics coach Brad Stevens expects Drummond to play in his first All-Star game this season. “He’s an All-Star right now, for sure,” Stevens said last week to the media, including Hoops Rumors. “Eighteen-16 is no joke and he’s doing it against the best of the best. Every time the ball hits the rim, you’re fearful he’s going to get it. And his rim runs draw so much attention off of pick-and-rolls that their shooters get more open looks.”
  • The Cavaliers’ D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, has acquired power forward Jon Horford off waivers, Adam Johnson of the D-League Digest tweets. Horford, the 24-year-old younger brother of Al Horford, signed with the Bucks prior to training camp but was waived in early October.

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