New Orleans Hornets All-Star David West Opts Out of Final Year of Contract, Becomes Free Agent

When New Orleans Hornets power forward David West saw his season come to an early end in April, many assumed that the former All-Star would exercise his option for the 2011-12 season. Apparently, West has other plans.

West elected to opt out of the final year of his contract and test free agency, ESPN.com reported Monday. The 30-year-old tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in late March, and had season-ending surgery in April. The initial expected recovery time for the injury was six to eight months, but West has been recovering faster than expected.

West, who averaged 18.9 points and 7.6 rebounds prior to his injury, is expected to draw interest from multiple clubs, including New Jersey and Indiana, according to a Yahoo! Sports report. Indiana has an opening at their power forward position, while the Nets currently have Kardashian-hubby Kris Humphries slated as the four on their depth chart.

While West could potentially be teaming up with All-Star point guard Deron Williams in Brooklyn, he'd be leaving another superstar point guard behind. West and Chris Paul have teamed up to form one of the most dynamic duos in the game, but the two have only managed one Western Conference semifinal appearance. Paul is a free agent at the end of next season, and re-signing West could help the Hornets' case in re-signing their franchise player.

West was to make $7.5 million next season. It is expected that his next contract will use that figure as a starting point.

Yardbarker

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