There had to be more to the story than David West simply being close to a deal with the Boston Celtics. The reports didn't add all the way up, though West's signing does make sense. The logistics of it all, however didn't. And as it turns out, West would be part of a larger sign-and-trade, should he come to terms with the Celtics.
As @Daldridgetnt reports, David West close w/ Celtics. Y! Sources say sides working on a sign-and-trade for a 3-year, $27-29M deal. Celtics likely send Jermaine O'Neal and another player to New Orleans in sign-and-trade, sources said. Hornets would move players elsewhere.
And now it all makes sense. The Celtics were going to have to unload something to make the deal work, and a sign-and-trade seemed like the logical next step.
Now, whether this hinders the Hornets plans to unload Chris Paul remains to be seen. New Orleans is back in talks to get a deal done, perhaps with the Lakers and Rockets again, albeit in a restructured way that will placate the league. It's unclear if taking on O'Neal's salary and perhaps the salary of another player affects those plans.