Metta World Peace got better near the end of the Lakers’ injury ravaged season, but it’s unclear just how important he is to the team’s title chances moving forward.
There will be plenty of changes to the roster in Los Angeles before next season, and some of them involving Dwight Howard and/or Pau Gasol could be major ones that will impact the franchise for years to come.
It’s not that serious with World Peace, though he alone is the one who gets to decide if he’ll sign up for one more year with the Lakers, given the fact that he holds a player option that would allow him to return at a salary of $7.7 million for the final year of his deal.
World Peace, however, appars as though he’ll let his agent be the one to make that choice.
“I don’t want to think off emotions. I hired my agent for a reason so I’ll let him and the Lakers do their job to try to keep me a Laker for long term,” World Peace said Tuesday in a phone interview with this newspaper. “Rather than stress myself out and worry about what’s going on for the Lakers, I’ll let them do their job. Then they can get back to me.”
“Whatever the Lakers and my agent feel best, that’s what I’m going to do,” World Peace said. “It’s not about me. I’m not making the decision based on me. I’ll let the Lakers and my agent make the decision for me.”
World Peace and his agent have until June 25 to make that decision, but the Lakers will still have a small say in how things ultimately play out.
There has been talk of using the amnesty provision under the new collective bargaining agreement to waive World Peace should he opt in, which would save the Lakers several million dollars in luxury tax penalties, even though they’d still be required to pay the year’s worth of salary in full.
There’s also a strong possibility that the team wouldn’t be interested in signing World Peace to a multi-year deal at anywhere near his market value should he decide to pursue that as an option.