Metta World Peace was cut loose by the Los Angeles Lakers last week via the amnesty clause, and now the veteran forward is hoping to find a home on the opposite coast.
Sources say the 14-year NBA veteran thinks he would be a good fit with the Knicks, a team that can offer him part of their taxpayer mid-level exception. The Knicks have reportedly been in early talks with Metta World Peace.
World Peace is coming off a resurgent season, one in which he averaged 12.4 points and 5.0 rebounds. Though he’s had discipline problems in the past, Metta World Peace stayed out of trouble last year, and Knicks coach Mike Woodson thinks he wouldn’t be a problem.
“I know his name has been surfacing out there,” Woodson from the team’s summer league home in Las Vegas. “I can coach any player. I coached guys from 18-, 19-, 20-year-old young men, and built a team in Atlanta, and that’s tough for a first-time coach. So I experienced that, and I don’t think there’s a player I can’t coach if he’s willing to be coached.”
The Lakers announced last week that they had waived Metta’s contract. The team will still have to pay the rest of his salary, but it will not count against the cap next year.
“It’s tough to say goodbye to a player such as Metta, who has been a significant part of our team the past four seasons,” Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “For anyone who’s had the opportunity to get to know him, it’s impossible not to love him.”
The discussions with the Knicks are a departure from World Peace’s initial statements after being cut loose by the Lakers. He said he no longer wanted to play in the NBA, instead playing in China, coaching, or playing arena football.
If Metta World Peace does not join the Knicks, he could play for the Los Angeles Clippers or join China’s Shanghai Sharks.