China. Arena Football. Coaching. Or the Clippers.
Sometimes talking to Metta World Peace feels like talking to a 15-year-old who sees the world as full of possibilities and who doesn’t take any of it too seriously. He’s matured over the past few years, but you still see some of this in him.
That came out of him when he spoke with reporters in Los Angeles about the possibilities now that he has been amnestied by the Lakers. Here are his quotes, via Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
“I don’t really want to play for anybody,” World Peace said Friday at the Lakers’ practice facility. “I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to go to China, or coach or play arena football.”
Those kinds of retirement threats are often code for “you non-contending teams better not claim me off waivers.” Through Sunday teams under the salary cap can claim World Peace off waivers for as little as the veteran minimum ($1.4 million, the new team would pay that and the Lakers would pay the remainder of his $7.7 million salary, they just don’t have to play his tax).
If MPW is claimed he can retire and do whatever he wants — if he’s willing to walk away from the $7.7 million. Retire and the money goes away.
What he really wants is to not get picked up off waivers by any teams, at which point he becomes an unrestricted free agent. If that happens he wants to go to the Clippers — a contender where he wouldn’t have to move — before even his hometown Knicks, according to Sam Amick of the USA Today.
A person with knowledge of World Peace’s situation told USA TODAY Sports that he now has the Los Angeles Clippers atop his list of possible destinations. The Queensbridge, N.Y. native previously had his hometown New York Knicks as his preferred choice his list of favorites, but he is now said to be more interested in joining the new-look Clippers while being able to avoid relocating. Both teams appear to have interest in adding World Peace, but would only be able to offer him a veteran’s minimum contract of $1.4 million annually.
His list is also known to include – in order of favorites – the Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and the Indiana Pacers.
The already deep Clippers are in win now mode and likely would make an offer. One he apparently would take. Sorry Knicks fans.
But we’ll see how all this plays out over the next 48 hours.