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?))


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