Hornets' West opts out of contract

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 1:21 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans Hornets forward David West has declined his player option for the 2011-12 season and will become an unrestricted free agent.

West has spent each of his eight NBA seasons with the Hornets, who intend to offer him a new deal as a free agent.

"David has been a tremendous player and person for us on and off the court during his eight years with the Hornets," said general manager Dell Demps in a statement Monday. "We have had open communication with David this entire season about his option and knew with either decision that our intention is to pursue David so he can finish his career as a Hornet."

West had his 2010-11 campaign cut short in late March with a torn medial collateral ligament and said he is open to negotiating a new deal with his old team.

"I love the city of New Orleans and have spent my whole career with the Hornets and am fortunate to be with such a supportive organization," West said. "I am continuing my rehab to get back on the court as soon as I can and look forward to conversations with the Hornets about my future and potentially continuing my career in New Orleans."

West was averaging a team-best 18.9 points to go along with 7.6 rebounds in 70 games last season before suffering his injury on March 24 against Utah. The two-time All-Star has career averages of 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds over 530 games, including 438 starts.

The 30-year-old veteran was selected by New Orleans with the 18th pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.


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