Monty Williams has proven a pretty good coach so far this season.
He looks like a lot better coach when Chris Paul and David West are playing. He admits as much. Those also happen to be two guys who can opt out of deals the next two summers. So Williams has set to work.
That starts with forward David West, who is expected to opt out of the $7.5 million he is due next season and test the free agent market. Williams told the Times-Picayune he has been working on West.
“He’s earned the right to choose and I’ve talked to him about that on a few occasions,’’ Williams said. “I’ve tried to show him how diligently I work and prepare so he’ll want to come back here.
“For us to be in position to keep him is a good thing, but there are going to be teams that come after him. But the cool thing is he knows what we represent and understands where we’re going. He’s going to be the flagship leading us there.’’
West could be the big domino here. Keep him and there is a chance of keeping Chris Paul because West can be a key guy to help build around. West goes and it becomes a lot harder to keep CP3.
It’s smart of Williams to lay the groundwork. But money is going to talk. With the NBA running the Hornets while the search for an owner, it will be interesting to see how much they are willing to offer (under whatever the new collective bargaining agreement allows).