Despite Friday's news that David West had agreed terms in a sign-and-trade to the Boston Celtics, that deal died late last night, opening the door for the Indiana Pacers. And Indy stepped in with a deal offering West more dollars per year, if few years.
The collapse of the original deal - which would have sent Jermaine O'Neal and possibly one other player to New Orleans - was contingent on the Hornets' inability to find a team to flip O'Neal onto. O'Neal had already made it clear that he wouldn't be amenable to playing for the Hornets this season, and it appears no team was willing to take on his expiring deal, and the Hornets didn't want to buy him out and watch him bolt for Miami either.
This is a great deal for the Pacers, too. West's recovery from surgery has obviously been a huge concern for his suitors this summer, so acquiring him on a two year deal minimizes risk a good bit. On top of that, $10M/year is reasonable value for money as well, given the size of the deals Nene Hilario, DeAndre Jordan, and Marc Gasol are expecting to sign in the coming days.
For New Orleans, it's a little bit of a letdown, but not a tremendous one. If the Hornets had been able to find a landing spot for O'Neal, it's likely they could have acquired one of Avery Bradley or rookies JaJuan Johnson or E'twaun Moore in the deal. Both Johnson and Moore were second rounders in the 2011 draft, and Bradley isn't expected to be even an average NBA player, but New Orleans would at least have received some youth.
In any case, West now joins his former teammate Darren Collison in Indy, which is also apparently pursuing O.J. Mayo in a trade for Josh McRoberts. Along with Danny Granger and Paul George, the Pacers could have a moderately interesting team next year.