David West To Play Cat And Mouse Game With Hornets


David West is rehabbing his knee, but also playing it patient with his contract.

With the off-season in a dull place for Hornets fans some kind of “interesting” news came out today. In fact I wouldn’t really even call it news because fact is, it’s probably something we already knew. NOLA.com’s Jimmy Smith (a hat tip on the work there) has had an interview with David West’s agent, Lance Young.

Young gave Smith and Hornets fans an update on where David is at, rehab wise:

“It’s going really well,” Young said. “I think it’s way ahead of schedule right now. He’s been in Raleigh full-time, and he’s on his way with good rehab and feeling really good about things.”

But the more news-worth story was what he had to say about West’s contract.

“We’ve talked about it [the deadline for Contract extension], and I think he’s going to wait until about a week before that [June 30] to see where his knee is and how it feels and make an educated decision about where to go from there,” Young said. “We really haven’t discussed it because we have some time.”

I feel like I am about to poke more holes into this than it should, but I can’t help but feel speculative, even if it’s somewhat pointless.

There’s no doubt that when David West went down with his injury that he had to reassess where things were at. It was rumored that New Orleans’ General Manager, Dell Demps offered West a contract extension, but it was swiftly rejected. The reason for that, was, at the time West and his management knew that he deserved a lot more than could be offered. The Hornets could only offer a percentage increase on his current deal, which is why it was deemed unfair.

However after his season-ending knee injury many questioned whether West would actually accept his extension option.

But now, we don’t really know for sure. What do we make of what West’s agent’s interview? Well not a whole lot. I think we need to give credence to the possiblity that David still wants to test the market. Every player likes to be sought after, to be pampered to, reminded of why they are so special, they all have ego’s. I don’t really blame him for wanting that experience.

However, West’s value is right around that 8 million dollar mark, but with a new CBA and likely lockout David’s “big pay day” might not be so big. Perhaps Lance Young knows that a contract extension that is around the 8 million range would be very generous under a more tight, new hard-cap in a new CBA deal.

All we know is, this is looking like an episode of Tom and Jerry.

Tags: David West Dell Demps New Orleans Hornets

  • lucas

    David West is one of my idols in basketball. Cheer for him in any situation and any team. But if he stays in New Orleans will be much better for us fans. However, the most important thing now is David’s recovery. His place is within the court, playing great basketball we used to watch.

    • http://swarmandsting.com James Grayson

      Yea the injury is a big log jam in any discussions that take place. Because he’s 31 and coming off an injury, I think teams will reassess his value.

      But you know the NBA, some idiotic team like the Nets or Knicks is going to give him a 4yr/45 mil deal…

  • http://www.hornets247.com Michael McNamara

    The tough part is that David West takes a risk either way. While I agree that his value will go down under a new CBA, what if a miracle occurs and the new CBA looks a lot like the old
    one? Now he has just locked himself into a deal well under his perceived market value.
    Remember, just one season ago Carlos Boozer inked a deal worth 15-16 million annually. If you were to ask D West, I would guarantee that he would say he is a better player than Boozer (and after this year’s playoff performance from Booz, who would disagree?)

    Now, objective people will point out the injury, the age, etc. – but part of what makes a great player so great is his ability to convince himself that he is better than he really is, that he will recover faster and stronger than other guys who proceeded him, etc. Even though we all would agree that a 4 year/35 million dollar deal would be generous given certain circumstances, D West won’t see it that way.

    • http://swarmandsting.com James Grayson

      Yea very good points, I still think that David is sour and wants to get that 10 Million a year that so many other All-Star caliber players have received. Like Emeka is getting paid more than him at the moment and you would have to think that won’t go down to well with his Agency.

      Ultimately this CBA is the thing that’s going to determine whether he resigns or tests the waters. I still think he’s going to get a feel for his value and if a team lays down a 10 million a year offer and the Hornets don’t because it would cripple them, then he’ll take the money.

      I am hopeful he’ll pick up his option and sign an extension, because that’s what I’m hoping his value will be under a new CBA (i.e. 10 Million dollar contracts are now worth around 7.5). But I’m still not sure.

      It’s going to be a long offseason…

  • glacius

    D-West deserves to earn more than 8 million. He deserves more.

    • http://swarmandsting.com James Grayson

      Yea he does deserve more than 8 million a year, and I’m sure he’ll perceive it in that fashion too. Seeing guys like Gilbert Arenas get paid more than him is an insult…so he’s not going to like an 8 Million contract.

      Thing is, if the CBA decreases players salaries then an 8 million a year deal might be spot on value. It sucks for David if the new CBA looks like that, but it might be how things go…

  • Cris

    If david West was 28 I would say he should be worth 4yr/40-50mil. He is 31 and recovering from a serious knee injury, who knows how he will comeback and whether this is the start of chronic knee problems. I certainly hope not but I agree with M.McNamara that 4yr/35mil offer would be generous. Given the circumstances I dont really understand why West hasnt alreay taken the option on the final yr of his contract worth 7.5mil and concentrate on getting back to full fitness and hitting Free Agency in 2012.

    • http://swarmandsting.com James Grayson

      I think West is bitter that he’s never received his big pay day. His decreasing contract must be sour grapes to him and that’s why he originally knocked back the extension.

      I think 4yr/35mil is fair because like you said he’s 31 years old. I’m not sure his agency will see things the same way because they think they can get someone like the Nets to grossly overpay him.

      That’s the sad thing… I hate it, and David seems like a real stand up guy, but I think he’s still got bitterness towards his crappy contract that never paid him what he deserved in his twilight years…

  • lucas

    I agree, James. David West has always received less than he deserved throughout his career. Currently, he is 31 years old and has every right to seek a proposal that ultimately is beneficial to him. He deserves it. If the Nets or any other team 4yr/35mil offer is very fair for him to leave New Orleans. I would very much appreciate the Hornets could pay the D-West what he deserves. I wish D-West remained in NOLA and had his jersey retired as a Hornet. But it is an absurd D-West receiving less than players like Carlos Boozer, Emeka Okafor and Gilbert Arenas. So, West must seek to improve their contract. It is his right, and player’ career is short. We can not forget it.