The Los Angeles Lakers decided not to use their amnesty clause before the start of this season, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t planning to exercise it at some point.
While the Lakers enjoy having
Ron Artest Metta World Peace on their roster, and he’s very popular with his teammates, general manager Mitch Kupchak is likely to amnesty the man referred to MWP this offseason.
World Peace is due more than 7.25 million for the 2012-13 season in the form of a player option he is almost guaranteed to pick up, and is additionally owed more than $7.7 million for 2013-14. With his diminishing skills, there is no way the Lakers can afford to pay him that much. They would also save roughly $7 million in luxury tax money by setting World Peace free.
Los Angeles needs to add some younger, more athletic wing players. While Kobe Bryant is having a great season, he clearly needs some help on offense.
World Peace has done a great job rehabbing his image with the Lakers. He was invaluable to the team during its championship run in 2010 and his work in the community and with his teammates has really endeared him to NBA fans, and the city of Los Angeles.
There is a chance that after he is cut loose, the Lakers could re-sign World Peace for less money, possibly for the veteran’s minimum since he would already be raking in his full salary for the next two seasons. In that case the Lakers wouldn’t really be forced to use him as anything more than a second-unit guy. He could also teach Devin Ebanks – whose potential and athleticism the Lakers love – how to be a true defensive stopper.
While having World Peace in the purple and gold has been fun, and great for both parties, it may not last much longer.