Aaron Gray Opts Out Too
David West wasn't the only Hornet big man to opt out of his contract. New Orleans backup Center Aaron Gray exercised his player option in the final year of his Hornets deal, and will become a free agent. Gray would have made $1.06 million next season had he decided to "opt in." Here is more from Jimmy Smith of the Times Picayune and nola.com, followed by more blogging from Scott.
Zanik said the Hornets did not give Gray any indication he would not be in their plans this year. Gray had a huge impact in the Hornets' first-round playoff series against the Lakers, especially in Game 1 when he had a double-double off the bench. But he also sustained a sprained ankle which hindered his efforts in the final five games of the series.
The Zanik referred to in the article is Jason Zanik, an agent representative for Gray. Aaron has had his fair share of good moments in his one and a half seasons with New Orleans. It's no surprise the Hornets are being coy with Gray. Most likely, the Hornets front office feels like Gray is trying to "cash in" on his playoff performance. However, Gray likely won't get major play in free agency, and I would not be surprised to see him back in a NOLA next season.