5 players who turned their backs on the Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers have mostly had a history of sustained success. Their highs might have been higher had these five players not turned their backs on them.

Apr 17, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) slam dunks during the
Apr 17, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) slam dunks during the / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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3. David West

One of the best free agents to ever decide to sign with the Pacers, David West was the backbone of those mid-2010s Pacers teams. He was the guy that no one wanted to mess around with. He was the enforcer of the group and was the vocal leader in a locker room full of young guys.

West signed with Indiana in 2011 and was a master of the midrange. Anytime the Pacers needed a tough bucket at the end of the shot clock, they could pass it to him. He would make a fadeaway jumper from the elbow and was a nice pick-and-pop partner.

West also decided to leave the Pacers when they still had their title window open. With Paul George coming back from his broken leg, they would have had most of their core back, minus Stephenson. West was still good enough to help the team get to the playoffs.

Instead, West went ring-chasing elsewhere. He opted out of the final year of his contract and signed with the Spurs. He didn't win a title in San Antonio and was reduced to a bench player. He could have been a starter had he stayed with Indiana.

West did eventually win a couple of titles with the Warriors at the end of his career. It still would have been nice to keep him for one more run at a ring back in 2015. The next player on this list is actually one of the guys Paul George ended up getting traded for.