With forward David West deciding to forego the final year of his contract and become a free agent, he probably has played his final game for the New Orleans Hornets.

West will be one of the premier free agents on the market this offseason, after opting out of the $7.5 million owed him in the final year of his contract. West's agent, Lance Young, informed New Orleans GM Dell Demps of the decision Monday morning.

His decision could be a prelude to the eventual departure of All-Star guard Chris Paul, who has played his entire career with West in New Orleans. The Hornets might have to trade Paul next season before he reaches free agency in 2012 and start a complete rebuilding process.

Indiana and New Jersey are two teams with significant salary-cap space and a strong interest in signing West, league sources said. West grew up in New Jersey, living in Northern New Jersey until the eighth grade, and has always been fond of the metropolitan New York area. Nevertheless, the Pacers have a better core now and have a gaping hole for a power forward.