New Orleans Hornets power forward David West will opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent. West, the longest tenured professional athlete in New Orleans (along with Saints OT Jon Stinchcomb), has not ruled out resigning with the Hornets, though he told the Times Picayune in a phone conversation that he wants "to win, and win big." Here is more from Jimmy Smith of the TP, and, followed by more blogging from Scott.

The Hornets could still offer West an extension before the current collective bargaining agreement expires at midnight on Thursday. And West did not rule out the possibility he'd consider signing one.

No other NBA team could pursue West, however, until the league's free-agency period began. Because of the expiring CBA, though, that date has yet to be determined.

I would be shocked if West signs an extension before the CBA expires. He was offered the chance to negotiate an extension several times in the last year and opted not to. If West was going to sign an extension, he would have already done it. He'll test the free agent market, and he should. It's a historically weak FA class, and West's agent Lance Young will get plenty of phone calls from teams interested in signing his client.