As the New York Knicks continue to look for options to add to next season’s roster, it looks as if a veteran has his eyes set on possibly coming to the Big Apple.
According to a report from ESPN’s Jared Zwerling, current Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace “hopes to land with the Knicks.”
There have been plenty of rumors as of late that the Lakers will release World Peace via the amnesty clause, which they can’t officially do until Wednesday.
However according to several sources close to the situation, the Lakers have made no official decision on whether or not they will indeed cut ties with the 13-year veteran.
In addition, many people close to the former St. John’s product feel that World Peace would be very upset if he were amnestied by the Lakers and could possibly consider retirement instead of signing with another team.
Jose Morales, who claims to be the head of World Peace’s foundation, said World Peace would be open to playing for the Clippers, but if he can’t stay in Los Angeles, he would want to play only in New York, his hometown.
That’s some good news for the Knicks as they are in the market for another perimeter defender who can knock down open shots from the perimeter. Right now World Peace would be the best candidate available to be able to do that.
In addition, he likely would be the Knicks starting small forward, allowing Carmelo Anthony to stay at the 4.
Another piece of good news for the cash-strapped Knicks is that money is not a factor in World Peace’s next destination, as he’ll still get paid $7.7 million from the Lakers through the 2013-14 season if he’s amnestied.
He would be a guy who would fit right into Mike Woodson’s philosophy- an aging vet whose best days are likely behind him.
But while World Peace isn’t quite the player he once was, he is still productive.
The 33-year old averaged 12.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists a season ago and sports career averages of 14.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists.
The bad news is that is he is indeed amnestied by the Lakers; World Peace would have to sneak through waivers until the Knicks get the chance to claim him. Teams with room under the salary cap would get the first opportunity to claim World Peace before the Knicks get a chance at him.
When he was known as Ron Artest, the Knicks had the chance to draft him back in 1999 when he was the 16th overall pick. The Chicago Bulls selected him one pick after the Knicks mistakenly drafted French center Frédéric Weis.
It may have taken 13 years, but maybe the Knicks will get the opportunity to atone for that mistake and World Peace will get to return home.
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