Tuesday , Jun , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Will Hornets overpay David West to keep Chris Paul happy?

David West is uncertain whether his NBA future lies in New Orleans or elsewhere. Tha the New Orleans Hornets’ leading scorer knew for sure on Monday was that he wasn’t going to allow recent reconstructive surgery on his left knee to scare him away from free agency.

"It’s about making the best decision right now for my family," the former Garner High School star said in a phone interview in which he explained his decision to opt out of the final year of his contract. "It’s not taking New Orleans out of the equation, just an opportunity to sign a better deal, and an opportunity to make sure the decision I make for the next three to four years puts me in the best possible situation to win – not just winning and making the playoffs, but legitimately having a chance to compete for championships."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Opting out, becoming an unrestricted free agent, and leaving a guaranteed $7.5 million on the table looks like a bad decision for David West.

After all, West polarizes. While he has supporters, many feel he’s a ‘tweener’ forward who does little besides score.

So opinions are mixed. The facts aren’t much help, either.

West is 31 years old. He just had major surgery on his knee. There might not be much money available on the open market since the league’s financial landscape will change with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

West, however, has a card to play. Teammate and good friend Chris Paul will become a free agent in 2012. New Orleans would be devastated if Paul left. So the club may overpay West to appease their superstar point guard.

What happens to West could have far greater consequences for the Hornets.

–Oly Sandor.

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