David West's announcement Monday that he would opt out of his contract and become a free agent was a tough pill for Hornet fans to swallow. In the last year, Hornet fans have swollowed many bitter pills. From ownership issues, to Chris Paul's toast at Carmelo Anthony's wedding, to barely achieving attendance benchmarks, the loyal fans of the fleur-de-bees are hoping to swallow some happy pills at some point.

Does the future of the New Orleans Hornets franchise look bright? Many pundits would say no. Bradley Handwerger of WWLTV.com believes the Hornets future isn't as dire as many believe. Check out what he has to say below, followed by more blogging from Scott.

But the biggest reason why I think there will be long-term success in New Orleans for the Hornets is the two men running daily operations there now. Demps and Williams are men to feel comfortable with.

Demps has shown, though some would say he was directed, fiscal responsibility while also putting the Hornets in a position to get to the playoffs this past season. His move to trade the No. 45 pick for cash was panned by some folks, but it’s not a bad move. Williams, meanwhile, has the respect of his players and is a bright young coach. He’s a leader and a guy who teaches what wins – defense.

I appreciate Handwerger's optimism, but I'm not quite as rosy as he is when it comes to the Hornets. I agree with him that Demps and Williams are men to feel comfortable with. However, they will have trouble overcoming all of the obstacles facing the franchise right now.

The best case scenario for the Hornets is a hard salary cap, better revenue sharing amongst the players and owners, and a whole bunch of wins. The hard cap and revenue sharing are both realistic possibilities when the next CBA is agreed upon. If they both come to fruition, perhaps Gary Chouest or another local will pony up some dough and buy the Hornets.

Stable ownership would help the franchise to stay in the Crescent City, and get rid of many distractions. Stability would also give Demps a better chance to attract key free agents, as well as resign some of his own key players. Currently, Demps has the hardest GM job in the NBA.

It's going to take much more than Dell Demps and Monty Williams to brighten the future of the Hornets. As talented as they may be, they need help. And, so does the Hornets future in New Orleans.