New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul reiterated his respect for teammate David West's decision to walk away from the final year of his contract with the team this week, but said West's move might not affect Paul's future here.

"Hopefully, it won't," Paul said Thursday at one of his foundation's events with children at Tulane University. "Like I said, D-West is like a brother to me. Anything he does, I'm always going to support him. I would love to play with him. He's the only guy who's been on my team every year I've been in the NBA. But at the end of the day, he has to make decisions that are best for him and his family.

"His decision was he just opted out. It doesn't mean he's not coming back to our team."

Paul said he wasn't sure of the chances West would re-sign with the Hornets following what is expected to be a lockout of NBA players beginning on Friday in the absence of a new collective bargaining agreement.

"We haven't talked too much about it," Paul said. "But it's not about what I want from him. He has a family. He has kids and stuff like that. Whatever is in the best interest of them, I'm sure he'll make the right decision."