NBA: Will David West Risk Staying with the New Orleans Hornets?

Mark EvansCorrespondent IIIAugust 22, 2011

Power forward David West is set to be a free agent when the NBA resolves the labor situation. With a fairly weak free agent class, West appears to be one of the top players available.

In his eight seasons with the Hornets, West has been a very productive player. At the top of his game, West was averaging 20 points and 9 rebounds on almost 50 percent shooting.

Despite suffering a season-ending knee injury in 2011, the Hornets would love to keep the Xavier standout in order to keep Chris Paul in 2012. Paul and West have been the top two options for the Hornets, but they have struggled to become serious title contenders.

West will get a nice pay day this offseason, that's for sure. Although his stock is not as high as it could be due to his injury, teams will certainly bite on West, fearing that the power forward market is lackluster. So what should he do?

Well, that all depends on a few things.

If he stays, does he think Paul will be there for the long term?

I find it hard to believe that West will want to be a Hornet if CP3 leaves town. The Hornets would have a lot of trouble finding another superstar to replace him, especially considering how much money they owe Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor over the next few years. Don't expect West to spend the rest of his career on a team that won't be a contender.

Even if CP3 does stay, are the Hornets a threat to win a championship?

That may be the bigger question. Like I mentioned earlier, Okafor and Ariza have contracts that could hinder further roster improvement. They could use a wing player in addition to West and Paul, but who would be available?

I do not expect West to stay with the Hornets. There are greener pastures that involve more talented rosters than New Orleans has to offer.

And he might believe that regardless of what he does, CP3 will walk in 2012. That sure could be troublesome for the title chances of the Hornets.

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