West will test free agency

By BRETT MARTEL | June 27, 2011 | 9:15 AM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hornets leading scorer David West says he will test free agency.

West, a two-time All-Star who was drafted 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 game on March 24.

He had an option to extend his contract for one more season at $7.5 million, but after mulling his options with his agent, Lance Young, he informed the Hornets he would not exercise the option and made the decision official Monday.

West had surgery April 12 and his rehabilitation is expected to take six to eight months.

Hornets general manager Dell Demps has said he would still try to re-sign West if he opted out.