As everyone is now aware of, David West has not exercised the player option on the final year of his contract for 7.5 million, becoming a free agent (whenever free agency might start). I've collected a couple of really good reads on David's decision and what his basketball future my hold.
Jimmy Smith on nola.com with some quotes from David: David West says he's opting out of final year of contract.
Kelly Dwyer on Ball Don't Lie on how David is taking some pretty big risks opting out at this particular time: David West eyes the prize, opts out of his contract.
Zach Lowe on SI about how Mr. West could find slim pickings trying to find the right combination of talent, cap space, and a hole at PF on potential teams: Potential suitors for David West
There's also Adrian Wojinarowski on Yahoo! with a pretty pessimistic headline, but no new details to support it. The only reason I'm linking is because he details the specifics of the extension (which no one expected him to sign) that the Hornets had previously offered Mr. West (3 years, 26 million plus), which I had not previously seen: West likely done in New Orleans (boo)
UPDATE: Mason now has his thoughts on the matter up over on HoopDat.
Lastly, check out Joe Gerrity over at Hornets247 with an in-depth look at the situation, especially how it relates to the Hornets. Also a neat little story about David's wife and a request from Hornets fans that we can all get behind: Rooting for West to Show Some Loyalty
There are a ton of West-related features floating around right now and I'm sure I missed some. If you see anything worth a look, link it up in the comments.
As has been said before, this is not Earth-shattering or even unexpected news to anyone that has been following David's situation throughout the year. You can bet that Dell Demps and the front office were prepared for this and are already in the process of pitching David on a long term contract that will see him retire as an all-time Hornets great. Hopefully that will be the first in a line of many successes for Demps and Co. during this important offseason.
Stay tuned for any further news on David's future, though it could be quite a while before we know how this ends.
UPDATE: Aaron Gray will also not exercise his player option for the upcoming season, per Marc Spears. After playing well in the playoffs against the Lakers, Aaron's status around the league is probably at an all-time high for him, and he is due to make considerably more than minimum he stood to make on his deal with the Hornets this year. No surprise here.