Lakers to amnesty Metta World Peace; Kobe adds his two cents

image via Getty Images

image via Getty Images

 

Earlier this morning, Metta World Peace (MWP) reportedly learned of Dwight Howard’s decision to join the Houston Rockets via TMZ.  Whether his reaction was genuine or not, is up to your interpretation.  But if he really doesn’t follow NBA news during the offseason, I wonder who will break the news to him that he’s going to be amnestied by the LA Lakers, if this report is indeed true.

By amnestying the 33-year-old vet, who’s in the final year of a $7.7 million contract, it’s been reported that the Lakers are estimated to save approximately $30 million, so a lot of sources have been running with that number.  However, a Pro Basketball Talk article disputes those reports, and pegs the savings closer to the $12 million mark because the Lakers will be taxed a significantly lower amount since they didn’t re-sign Howard.  Once the luxury tax line is announced, the real savings will be a lot easier to hone in on.

Regardless, now that the Dwight Howard saga is over, the Lakers are active on the scene, for better or worse.  Prior to the Metta World Peace news, the Lakers signed Chris Kaman to a one-year deal.  Between this move and amnestying MWP, it’s clear that the Lakers are repositioning themselves so they’re in the thick of things when many max level players are free to opt-out and test the market in 2014 and/or also purposefully tanking so they can improve their chances of landing next year’s projected number one draft pick, Andrew Wiggins.  One things for sure though, if that’s the strategy, then Mike D’Antoni’s job security is on lock because everyone knows winning isn’t his shtick.

Kobe Bryant doesn’t appear to be feeling the team’s strategy, though.  After the MWP rumor hit the net, Kobe weighed in on the matter and tweeted the following:

 

That’s nice that Kobe’s advocating for MWP, but clearly his opinion doesn’t matter.  So, if the Lakers officially pull the trigger, MWP will hit waivers and wait to be picked up.

Although he’s on the downside of his career, he’s still a player that most teams would love to have.  I wouldn’t mind if the Knicks tried to sign MWP.  In fact, an injury prone player on the decline is exactly the type of talent the Knicks covet.  Also, after infamously passing on Ron Artest in favor of Frederic Weis in 1999, I’d say this move is long overdue.  But in reality, CBA provisions prevent us from initially making a move for MWP because we’re over the cap. However, if Metta World Peace goes unclaimed and becomes a free agent, the Knicks could try to sign him with the veteran’s minimum.  The Knicks are still eying Elton Brand, another candidate for the veteran’s minimum.  If we were forced to choose between Brand and MWP, I vote for MWP every time.  But the chances of Metta World Peace going unclaimed are slim, so Knicks fans (myself included) shouldn’t even get caught up in the what ifs.

This has been one wild NBA free agency period this far.  Between player movement and coaching shakeups, lots of teams are going to have completely different looks next season.  October can’t get here soon enough!

-@itsshanarenee

About Shana Renee

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Woman + Entrepreneur + Blogger + Educator + Sports Head; a sports addict's creative cure to #allsportseverything. #Jets #Knicks #Yankees

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