David West won’t Sign an Extension

Published: January 27, 2011

A few days ago Adrian Wojnarowski published an article stating that the Hornets and David West were unlikely to sign an extension before the Feb 24th deadline.  The article  quotes sources that state “It’s hard to see an extension happening here.”  Wojnarowski also states that David West will likely opt out of the final year of his contract and hit the open market this summer, and speculates about the Hornets trading him now to get something.  Sigh.

To those of us paying attention to salaries, this is no surprise.  One of the most beneficial things Jeff Bower did for the Hornets was to convince David West to sign a declining front-loaded five year deal.  Therefore, West got his money early and each year after he was paid less and less, until he is now one of the lowest paid 20-point per game scorers in the game.  This year, he’s making $8.2 million.  Next year, unless he opts out, he’ll only make $7.5 million.

Still, here’s the important part missing from Woj’s article.  If David West signs an extension, he’s locked into that crappy $7.5 million dollar salary next year.  Even worse, his salary in the following years can only increase by 10.5% per year due to the existing CBA rules.  For a guy who would easily command a 4-year, $45-55 million dollar deal under the current CBA, signing an extension now would lock him into a total salary of only $33 million over that same 4-year span.  West would have to be a fool to sign that  extension unless security was more important to him than $12 million plus in total earnings.

That does put the news that he’s not signing an extension in a different light, does it not?  I won’t even touch on the speculation about trading him now.  Even considering it would  probably get me lynched considering the winning streak the bees are on.

((On a side note – if you had seen what Paul did this last summer, would you sign an extension with the team right now or see how things play out in the playoffs?))


  1. TopherPrice

    January 27, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I would like to point out that geauxhornet88 posted the contents of his journal on another blog a full 24 hours or more before Woj “broke” his story. I don’t know if Woj had someone in that same session and spun the response Dell gave, leaving out the important info about the future salary being tied to the final year being motivation, or if Woj has someone else on the inside. Either way, I would like to thank GeauxHornet88 for being 10 times the reporter that Woj was on this story.

    It’s nice to have you a participant on this blog!

    • TopherPrice

      January 27, 2011 at 10:02 am

      Off topic, but…

      We all need to go to NBA.com and get all our friends to do so as well, and vote for the Hornets vs. The Wizards for “Fan Night” game. Lets show the team our appreciation by getting them a nationally televised game! We only have 3 shots at a fan night, Tuesday, the 15th against GS, and some other Tuesday against the Raps. LETS GET THIS DONE!

      • NOH Domination

        January 27, 2011 at 6:11 pm

        Let’s not do that cause nobody has NBATV and it gets blacked out for league pass, which means I can’t watch it 🙁

  2. NolaHog

    January 27, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I don’t think anyone would fault West for opting out of his final year and not signing an extension. Normally, I’d be all for trading and getting something in return rather than see him walk. These, however, are not normal times for the Hornets. We have a growing but fragile momentum right now, and with all of the ownership questions swirling around, I think we’ve got to live in the here and now and worry about the future later. I think if we can make a solid playoff run and then offer West something respectable when he becomes a free agent, he’d be willing to re-sign. Are we able to offer an extension at a higher per year salary, or do the rules of extending mandate that the offer has to stay at the same salary level? With our current roster and exceptions, would we be able to offer him $10 million a year this summer without going over the salary cap? I rely on the Hornets247 crew to keep me informed about all of the financial variables.

  3. Mikey

    January 27, 2011 at 9:29 am

    If the Hornets offer West “fair market value”, he will stay, period. I think both West and his representation at Octagon know that he isn’t going to get a crazy Rashard Lewis-like contract. I would say that fair market value for a guy of West’s ability, durability, and age is somewhere around the 4yr $58M mark. (That averages out to $14.5M per year, still less than what Kenyon Martin, Rashard Lewis, and Antawn Jamison make this season) I see the Hornets offering him something in the $12M per year range first, and then negotiating.

    To folks in the know about this situation, West not extending is not a suprise.

  4. Michael McNamara

    January 27, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Yeah- this has been a subject Ryan and I have discussed in private a few times, but never brought up on the podcast because things were going so well- but now that it is out there, we might as well address it.

    I know there is fear in doing so, but I believe that you gotta let this thing play out, and I would be utterly shocked if West gets a significantly better offer elsewhere. West only fits on a team that will be competing for a title in the next 2-3 years and if you look at the teams that match that description, they either have their PF or they don’t have the money to give West a contract bigger than we can offer. Plus you gotta factor in the new CBA. But let’s look at the list of teams that can contend in the near future:

    Boston- have Garnett and won’t have the money to offer West
    Orlando- Already have nearly 75 million committed to next years team
    Miami- Wont be able to offer more than MLE (if there still is one next year)
    Chicago- Just gave Boozer big money
    Atlanta- don’t have the $$$, plus J Smith is getting 12.4 next year to play PF
    New York- have Amare, going after Melo, and it isn’t a good basketball fit
    Lakers- Not a need and dont have the $$$
    Utah- Milsap and Jefferson
    Spurs- At a payroll of nearly 70 mil next year if you include Parker’s extension
    mavs- Bad basketball fit and wont have the cap room
    Port- have Aldridge and wont have cap room if they pick up option on Oden
    Houston- Maybe if they dump Scola, but would they do that, and would D West choose Houston over N.O.?
    OKC- If they determine Ibaka is a bench player or a center and trade Green, then this is the ONLY team that I would worry about. But they have enough scorers, don’t they?

    Point is that I think the Hornets hold most of the cards here and should be able to lure D West back with a legit offer. My only concern is that they feel compelled to offer him a guaranteed 5th year, which would be a bad idea, but then again if that is what it took to get him back I might do it considering that there is no way CP3 resigns if the Hornets lose West and replace him with a Troy Murphy, or someone of that caliber.

  5. thechosenuno

    January 27, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Is the headline accurate? Shouldn’t it be “D West will opt-out of final year of contract”? Saying that he won’t sign an extension implies that he’s decided to leave the Hornets.

    It seems to me D West is opting out so that he can get an offer from the Hornets for more than 7.5mm.

    • 42

      January 27, 2011 at 10:49 am

      Extensions are based on current contract value. To ‘jump’ in value, you have to get a new contract. It’s a technical difference, not a practical difference from the ‘happy fan’ perspective.

      “You can’t get there from here; you gave to go back there first.” That quote ‘feels’ the same as the contract issue.

  6. benmez

    January 27, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Were heading into a new CBA which is likely going to include dramatic cuts to player salaries. Yes, due to his decreasing pay scale and resulting low final year salary David West’s extension will not be able to pay him market value. But we are talking about pre- new CBA market value. post-new CBA market value is an enitrely different thing. David West will likely not be able to garner as much as he would hope for in the open market this year. This extension could net him the same if not more money than any FA contract will net him whenever free agency occurs.

    Its unlikely he signs the extension, but with so much uncertaintiy about the new CBA its not out of the realm of possibility as some are making it out to seem.

  7. Stew

    January 27, 2011 at 11:58 am

    sidenote – There are currently THREE…yes, three…top stories on the NBA site featuring Hornets.

    • Hornet Seantonio

      January 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm

      i only have one story about cps double double and it being our 10th win in a row

      • Stew

        January 27, 2011 at 1:10 pm

        There’s one about CP3 being clutch, one about D-West deserving an All Star spot, and one about CP in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.

  8. QueenBee

    January 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    West said back in October that he wouldn’t talk contract during the season. All of a sudden it’s news to Adrian though.


  9. Hornet Seantonio

    January 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm


    yall see this on nba.com comparing dwest and aldridge. If freaken lamarcus gets picked over david west that would be a disgrace

  10. m_W

    January 27, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Here’s something else to consider. I was at the recent “Chalk Talk” with Dell Demps. The man did not mince words. He said he wants David West to end his career in Nola. More than that, he said he wants David’s jersey in the rafters. Given his preference, Dell doesn’t want to let David hit the free market, but with extensions being based on the last year of the salary, that may not be doable.

    Nonetheless, it was pretty clear that the Hornets want West and will work hard to make him happy and keep him here. They know he is worth more than $7-8M. As long as we have CP3, and we’re winning, I don’t see any reason for West to want to leave. His family is here with him. He’s lived here for years. He seems to be flourishing under Monty’s coaching. He’s seen as a go-to guy that can win games. Will other coaches/teams give him that trust? Conversely, if they can work out a new deal with David, the team looks that much more appealing to CP3 when his contract runs out.

    Whatever David decides, I just hope he recognizes how much the fans of New Orleans love him and want him to stay here.

    • 42

      January 27, 2011 at 6:24 pm

      DD also told me point blank that the sale was in the “dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s phase.”

      He may have been ignorant on that point, or selling something. I don’t know. It’s not the same realm of `talk’, as, in theory, he has a say in West’s future and is only an observer on the sale front.

      • m-W

        January 27, 2011 at 7:23 pm

        I think that’s precisely it. Demps is THE guy to re-sign West. Absolutely no need to take to the lengths he did if he didn’t mean it.

      • Ron

        January 27, 2011 at 9:58 pm

        He may have been ignorant on that point, or selling something. I don’t know.

        Or circumstances may have changed.

        Senior executives, though, are all in the “convincing business”, so you’re absolutely right that he might just be saying what he has to say.

      • 42

        January 27, 2011 at 10:39 pm

        Right. I imagine it was being misrepresented to him.

  11. JCS

    January 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    “If David West signs an extension, he’s locked into that crappy $7.5 million dollar salary next year. ”


    Clearly, we’re all rich if we think a 7.5 million dollar salary is crap.

    • Ron

      January 27, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      Clearly, we’re all rich if we think a 7.5 million dollar salary is crap.

      Everything’s relative. Like me remembering when I thought that $10/hr was as much money as I’d ever need.

      • JCS

        January 28, 2011 at 3:35 pm

        I know I know. I just couldn’t help but comment on that sentence. Personally, I find it amazing that a NBA bench warmer like Aaron Gray can earn a million a year, and corporate bankers working twice as hard earn half his salary.

      • Ron

        January 28, 2011 at 5:08 pm

        There are more bankers than there are (even bench-level) NBA-quality players.

      • JCS

        January 29, 2011 at 9:06 am

        True and corporate bankers that work within the business loan departments, have a greater effect on local, state, and regional economies. It’s exponential.

      • m-W

        January 29, 2011 at 9:20 am

        But, ad any corporate banker should know, it’s all capitalism, supply and demand. There are less than 100 people in the world who can do what even Aaron Gray does. And if corporate bankers making half a mil a year is supposed to get me to show rage at NBA salaries, you chose a poor example. No one needs that kind of money. No one. And damn few of us will even touch that, even if well off.

  12. bgalella

    January 27, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    David West has been a phenomenal player for New Orleans and the front office should reward him for his efforts, just hope this doesn’t turn into a Shawn Marion type situation where he gets paid and declines rapidly.

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