Off-Season Approaches- All Depends on West

Published: March 27, 2011

  David West is one of the most interesting free agents of 2011. For the Hornets, he’s the second biggest piece to the contender-building puzzle. Here are the possible outcomes of his free-agent journey:

1. Fluffy signs the extension– Now, the fact that West got hurt actually improves the Hornets chances of him signing his 7.5 million extension. He’s in a precarious situation. He could take a chance in free agency, but what if he ends up taking a smaller deal because of his ailments? Perhaps West will just play it safe, take the extension, play at the end of next season, bring his status back up to All-Star caliber, and get his big pay-raise next free agency. If this happens, the Hornets will have $19,062,498 in cap space with the seven expiring contracts they have hoarded through trades. Assuming that they resign a few players, I estimate about $10,562,498 left. Ten million more to bring in another piece towards building a contender.

2. Diddles denies the extension but resigns– The question is, how much does David West want? Is he looking in the 9-11 million range or higher? Are we willing to pay a 31-year-old coming off of surgery that kind of money? Probably. But is he worth it? What if Chris Paul leaves? At that point, we would be in rebuilding mode. Is a 31-year-old part of a rebuilding process? No, no West is not, unfortunantely. So how far do we go with his salary? I don’t have a clue. Hypothetically, let’s just say West says, “Look, I could be living up the sweet life on Jersey Shore. This Mikhail Prokhorov guy is offering me big bucks to play there with D-Will. Are you willing to pay me more than him to play in this small market?”

   Demps in reply says, “Listen, we want you to retire here. You’ve been a big part of this program. We’ll give you more.”

   So West signs with the Bees, getting a 5-year 60 million dollar contract. He makes about 12 million for the next five years to retire in New Orleans.

   If this hypothetical situation became reality, the Hornets free cap space goes from $19,062,498 with him signing the extension, to $14,562,498 with West signing this 5-year deal. That’s still a nice chunk of space, until you resign players and bring it down to an estimated $6,062,498. That gets you a solid role player. The Hornets need a little more than that to bring them over the top.

3. Mr. West Leaves the Big Easy- These words are tough to swallow, until you look at the possibilities. There is no doubt that David West’s presence cannot be replaced. He’s the heart and soul of the offenses scoring ability, and without him, our offense goes from OK at best to mediocre. But all is not lost. Mr. West’s departure gives us $26,562,498 to work with. Wow. Going back to the resigning estimate, (which I estimate at 8.5 mil if you haven’t done the math already) we still have $18,062,498 left. That’s enough to bring in a solid replacement for West and fill other necessary holes. So West leaving would hurt, but maybe not as bad as you may think.


Possible fills for David West- (Unrestricted) Boris Diaw, Glen Davis, Kenyon Martin, Zach Randolph. (Restricted) Jeff Green, Thaddeus Young.

   An obvious hole we need to fill is the starting SG position. Here is a list I composed to help us out.

My Top Five Targets at SG (Not in order)- 


1) Jason Richardson

2) C.J. Miles

3) Tracy McGrady                                      <— Pretty Weak Group

4) Jamal Crawford

5) Deshawn Stevenson


1) Arron Afflalo

2) Nick Young

3) Rodney Stuckey (Stretch)                          <— I know some of these guys                                                                             aren’t natural 2’s.

4) Wilson Chandler (Stretch)

5) Sam Young

Honorable mentions: Mickael Pietrus, Michael Redd, Marquis Daniels

This post was submitted by Hordan.


  1. cmac81

    March 27, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Great post. Really like the positivity, could use more of that around here

  2. nicks65

    March 28, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Great post. Would you mind breaking down who you think we will resign and for how much? Thanks.

  3. Michael McNamara

    March 28, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Nice post- we have a journal contest we just announced after you submitted this, but the topic is close enough to what we want, so this piece will be eligible for the contest if you would like to be in the running for playoff tickets.

    On a side note- what if West opts out, the Hornets resign Landry and both Tyson Chandler and David West want identical contracts? Which one would you choose to team up with Landry and Okafor in a 3 man front court before going and getting the SG?

    • nicks65

      March 28, 2011 at 11:25 am

      I feel like the “correct” answer is West, but I also feel like Chandler would give us some much needed size and athleticism down low to compete with the top teams in the West. Not sure he is worth as much as West though.

      Do you think we will actually go after any of the two guards in the post? And which ones, if any, could take us over the top?

    • Joe Gerrity

      March 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      I take Tyson all day. That defense with Mek and Tyson would be overwhelming. Throw some decent perimeter defenders, and you have a team that will be nearly impossible to score on.

      Plus, with Paul and Tyson on the pick and roll, there are going to be openings all over that floor for shooters to stand and Paul to find them. It’s really just too bad that Ariza can’t knock down jumpers, or he would be exactly the kind of perimeter player I would insert in that lineup.

    • NO-CHI

      July 3, 2011 at 7:31 am

      How about Both? Just explain to both of them about the contract situations, and then maybe they’ll agree. Both @ about 8 million (under current CBA rules), and if the new CBA is structured differently, both about 7.5 million.

  4. Joe Gerrity

    March 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Very nice post. I think you’re a little confused about #1, though. I see what you’re getting at, but he actually has a player option for next year at 7.5 million.

    The extension that you mention is actually a fourth option. the Hornets can offer an extension to West right now which would pay him the 7.5 next year, and roughly a million more per year for the 4-5 years after that. That’s the highest possible contract they can offer him while he is still under his current deal. If he wants to see what he’s worth on the open market, he has to opt out or try his luck under the new CBA. Those are risky moves, and West is not a risk taker.

    Really, I think that there’s a good chance that things will go that way, which would put the Hornets in a great spot to add a key player, AND keep West for the foreseeable future. I’ll write more about this later on.

  5. Hordan

    March 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Oh, I see. The salary nonsense is confusing. Thanks for clearing that up. Oh, and about the contest, yes, I would like to enter this. Thanks.

  6. Hordan

    March 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Ok, so he can take the player option or sign an extension. See I thought those 2 were the same. My bad.

  7. Hordan

    March 28, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    As for your question, Nicks, I suppose we will resign Green or Bellinelli for $2,500,000 (I prefer Belly), Landry for about $5,000,000, and one of our current back-up big men (Gray of Smith) for 1 mil. As for West or Chandler question, I take Chandler and sign Boris Diaw. In that scenario the Hornets would be unstoppable in the paint. Diaw’s an awesome defender, and paired with Tyson: unstoppable 2nd team defense. After that… Well, I heard from somewhere that they wanted a scoring big man first, and then a back-up SF. For some reason I can’t remember where. If we did want a backup SF before a SG we would probably go after C.J. Miles. He’s a good defender and would probably fit in well with our team. If all this came true, our lineup is:


    That’s a deep team…

    • oc

      March 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm

      is it wrong that i freaking hate cj miles whenever we play the jazz yet id love to have him as a hornet

    • NO-CHI

      July 3, 2011 at 7:34 am

      Not @ all. Take Bruce Bowen and Manu Ginboli for example. I hated their guts whenever we played the Spurs, but I wouldn’t mind having them on the Hornets. (Yeah I know Bruce Bowen is retired, I was talking about back in 07-08)

  8. blackmagic896

    March 28, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Im hoping Dwest comes back but i can see the Nets giving him big money already. At SG who i really like is OJ Mayo. In this case Ariza or Jack wud have to go which i feel is necessary. If not we sign Jrich.Then we sign Chandler & Kmart, & Sebastian Telfair. We then draft Keith Benson
    CP3 / Telfair
    Jrich/ Belli
    Ariza / Qpon /
    West / Kmart/ Benson
    Chandler / Okafor / Gray

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