06-27-2011, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
David West available?
Soon I hope...
I say he can play the small forward as opposed to his natural PF
Despite suffering a season-ending knee injury in March, New Orleans Hornets power forward David West said he will opt out of the final season of his contract this week and become a free agent.
"We just felt like this is the best thing for me, to go forward, and I made the decision based on where I was since the the knee (surgery) and all those other things and I felt it was the right time for me to make a good decision," West told the (New Orleans) Times-Picayune on Monday.
West has a June 30 deadline in his contract to notify the Hornets whether he will invoke next season's $7.5 million salary or opt for free agency.
The Hornets have anticipated all along that West would become a free agent, even though the former All-Star was forced to undergo surgery in April to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee suffered March 24. The reason: West still figures to be one of the two or three most coveted players on the open market in spite of the injury after years of consistent production and averages of 18.9 points and 7.6 rebounds in 70 games last season.
The Hornets, sources said, would still love to sign West to an extension before Thursday's deadline. But it's believed that West -- even in a financial landscape forecasted to be more restrictive starting next season and even factoring in his injury -- will eventually earn more in free agency than he could in an extension that would have to be calculated with next season's $7.5 million salary as a starting point.
"We'll have to talk to them, obviously, and see where (Hornets general manager) Dell (Demps) is," West told the newspaper. "The Hornets have an opportunity. But I'm looking for an opportunity to win, honestly. We'll see how things work out, and what the Hornets do to make our situation better. That's really all it came down to. At this point in my career, I want to win, and I want to win big."
Free agency will be delayed if the NBA, as expected, imposes a lockout July 1. But sources say only an unforeseen rehabilitation setback in the next 72 hours would change West's plans.
The Times-Picayune reported on Friday that West has been rehabbing twice daily and started on that schedule even before New York orthopedist Dr. David Altchek reconstructed the torn ligament. Altchek re-examined West's knee in New York two weeks ago and proclaimed him ahead of schedule in a rehabilitation period that initially was expected to last six to eight months.
Demps told the Times-Picayune last week: "Whether he opts in or opts out, our goal is to keep David West here. We said it from Day 1: We want David West to retire a Hornet. He's been great to us on and off the court. We're hoping his recovery continues on pace as it is right now. He's right on schedule to come back next year and play.
"We're hoping for a speedy recovery. Our goal is to keep him. There's room for both (West and free-agent power forward Carl Landry). Our goal is to keep that core together. We're not changing off that plan."
Last edited by tettays; 06-27-2011 at 10:26 AM.