David West is uncertain whether his NBA future lies in New Orleans or elsewhere.
What the New Orleans Hornets' leading scorer knew for sure on Monday was that he wasn't going to allow recent reconstructive surgery on his left knee to scare him away from free agency.
"It's about making the best decision right now for my family," the former Garner High School star said in a phone interview in which he explained his decision to opt out of the final year of his contract. "It's not taking New Orleans out of the equation, just an opportunity to sign a better deal, and an opportunity to make sure the decision I make for the next three to four years puts me in the best possible situation to win - not just winning and making the playoffs, but legitimately having a chance to compete for championships."
West, a two-time All-Star who was drafted 18th overall by New Orleans in 2003, started 70 games last season, averaging 18.9 points to go with 7.6 rebounds before tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament during a victory against the Utah Jazz at Utah on March 24 and having surgery April 12.
After evaluating his rehabilitation and mulling options with agent Lance Young, West walked away from the $7.5 million he would have made next season.
Hornets general manager Dell Demps said he still hoped to bring West back.
New Orleans has only five players under contract: guards Chris Paul and Jarrett Jack; center Emeka Okafor; small forward Trevor Ariza; and second-year swingman Quincy Pondexter.
Center Aaron Gray also opted out of the last year of his contract on Monday.
Thunder gives Cook offer: Reserve guard Daequan Cook has received a qualifying offer from the Oklahoma City Thunder, making him a restricted free agent.
Mavericks' Beaubois has surgery: Dallas Mavericks guard Roddy Beaubois on Monday underwent surgery for the second time since fracturing his left foot while training with the French national team last summer.
Bobcats make offer: The Charlotte Bobcats made a one-year qualifying offer worth nearly $1 million to 6-foot-8 Dante Cunningham, a second-round pick in 2009, that makes the reserve forward a restricted free agent.
Revenue sharing still disputed: NBA team owners will be briefed on collective bargaining and revenue sharing today during a Board of Governors meeting in Dallas, with the CBA set to expire late Thursday.