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


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.