Hornets reserve center and former Pitt standout Aaron Gray is opting out of the final season of his contract.
Gray had until Thursday to decide whether to exercise an option for one more season with New Orleans at $1.1 million. Instead, he opted for free agency Monday.
However, Gray's agent said the 7-foot, 270-pound center remains open to returning to New Orleans.
"I think he really enjoyed being with New Orleans, the opportunity to come free made it a good time to explore the market for him," said Jason Zanik, one of Gray's representatives, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The Times-Picayune
Zanik added that Gray isn't concerned about the uncertainty of the NBA's labor situation.
The 26-year-old Gray averaged 3.1 points in 13 minutes per game during the regular season. His size helped the Hornets defend some of the NBA's bigger and more physical centers.
Gray's best game of the season came in the Hornets' victorious playoff opener against the Lakers, when he scored 12 points.
"The Hornets have been great to Aaron and it's merely the option in his contract to be able to do this," Zanik told the Times-Picayune.
Gray averaged 9.8 points and 7.0 rebounds while at Pitt and was a named to the All-Big East first team and All-America third team his senior season (2006-07).
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.