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Metta World Peace to play, come off bench; Kobe’s minutes to be decreased

Apr 9, 2013, 2:35 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics Getty Images

Metta World Peace is a warrior. Or maybe not human. Because this is pretty insane.

As we told you Monday, twelve days after surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus World Peace will be back on the court for the Lakers Tuesday against New Orleans, Mike D’Antoni confirmed to reporters including Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

World Peace will not start, but he will come off the bench.

And that could help reduce Kobe Bryant’s minutes load D’Antoni said — Kobe has averaged more than 46 minutes a game in the Lakers last four games. And it shows. At the end of both the Memphis game (a Lakers win) and the Clippers (a Lakers loss) Kobe looked tired and wasn’t executing well at either end of the floor. He’s as well conditioned an athlete as there is in the NBA but even Kobe needs some rest, some time on the bench.

It matters a lot for a Lakers team that has no margin for error left — they likely need to go 4-1 or 5-0 their last five to make the playoffs, including winning both ends of a back-to-back Tuesday and Wednesday.

Steve Nash was again ruled out for the Lakers.

  1. adoombray - Apr 9, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    it’s his last run at a ring, and the team needs him now more than ever.

    Even as a Suns fan who watched him hit the dagger 3 to end 7 seconds or less (in an LA bar too LOL), I have tons of respect for Artest, he is tougher than 95% of the league and probably half the guys in the NFL too.

  2. asimonetti88 - Apr 9, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    I hope MWP can be effective. It would be a shame for him to rush back only to see the Lakers season end in a first round loss, or even worse, no playoffs at all.

  3. soopreme - Apr 9, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    In order for the Lakers to have any shot at signing Dwight Howard and with that, If they truly plan on keeping Howard and putting good talent around him, the most logical thing for them to do is amnesty or trade Kobe (not sure about his no-trade clause).
    Thats the most logical thing they can do at this point.

    • aboogy123456 - Apr 9, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      “Mr. Soopreme, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

    • eventhorizon04 - Apr 9, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      Disagreed.

      Amnesty Kobe Option: Not really a good option for the Lakers.
      First, from a business perspective, amnestying your most popular player isn’t going to go over well with fans, and the move only “frees” the franchise from 1 year of Kobe since he’s no longer under contract after the 2013-2014 season. So the cash savings aren’t that huge if you consider the potential fan backlash. Therefore, from a business perspective, it has a mixed effect – lower luxury tax payments but negative PR from amnestying a Hall of Fame player.

      Second, even if Kobe is amnestied, the Lakers will still be *well* above the salary cap in 2013 (assuming they re-sign Howard to a max deal). That means they STILL wouldn’t be able to sign top-tier talent, even with Kobe off the books. While their luxury tax bill goes down after amnestying Kobe, the Lakers won’t be able to sign a top-tier wing player to replace Kobe, and the Lakers already have questionable wing player depth even with Kobe. Therefore, from a basketball perspective, it worsens the team.

      Trade Kobe Option: Also not really a good option for the Lakers
      First, Kobe has a no-trade clause. The fact that Kobe has a no-trade clause means he’d have the ability to veto any trades, which limits potential trade partners (assuming Kobe is willing to be traded at all). If the Lakers try to trade Kobe, and Kobe isn’t supportive of the trade, there’s a huge risk of a PR nightmare as Kobe openly refuses to be traded, Kobe fans get upset at the trade rumors, the media weighs in, etc.

      Second, it’s hard to trade Kobe under his current deal. He’s due to be paid $30.453 million next year, and very few franchises in the NBA can financially support paying 1 player that much money, especially given the new luxury tax rules. The Lakers, the Knicks, the Nets….anybody else? Not many other franchise that I can think of could even begin to contemplate taking on Kobe’s salary, even just for 1 year. That again limits the Lakers’ trade options.

      With all those restrictions on where Kobe could be traded, it’s unlikely the Lakers would get decent value back. Remember, at the moment, if Kobe is traded, that means more time for Jodie Meeks at shooting guard (which isn’t exactly an upgrade).

      Other options – Trade Pau Gasol: Yes, his value is at an all-time low after an injury-plagued season that has led to some of the worst stats of his NBA career.
      Yes, the Lakers aren’t going to get an All-Star caliber player in return the way they could have as recently as a year ago.

      However, it’s possible they could get some value since Pau’s contract is more reasonable ($19 million per year, and next year is his final year), big men are in short supply around the league, and Gasol doesn’t have a no-trade clause (meaning the Lakers could send him wherever).

      Other than that, the Lakers could explore trading Steve Nash (maybe Toronto still wants him?), but keeping Kobe and trading Gasol is their only option if they want to keep Dwight Howard and improve their roster for next year.

    • dirtydavis - Apr 9, 2013 at 8:11 PM

      OR… sign Phil Jackson

    • loungefly74 - Apr 10, 2013 at 8:45 AM

      …it’s an extreme move. the business aspect ($$$$ for the Lakers) would never allow it.

  4. 13arod - Apr 9, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    why are you going to lower kobe’s min are you blin this guy is a hall of famer i think mike the head couch has finally lost it

    • bougin89 - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      Yeah…

  5. dirtydavis - Apr 9, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Lakers will win a championship this year

    • badintent - Apr 9, 2013 at 7:53 PM

      Knicks will win it all. Dolan dropped $10 milion in Herr Stern’s retirement fund, $$ Talks

      • dirtydavis - Apr 9, 2013 at 8:16 PM

        Now that would sweet… I can picture it now Carmelo Anthony 2013 Finals MVP.

  6. paulhargis53 - Apr 9, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    aboogy: Quoting an 18 year old movie that has been done to death, really?

    dirtydiana: What are you smoking?,Can I have some?

    • loungefly74 - Apr 10, 2013 at 8:47 AM

      i just now hear Don Rickles’ voice when I read your comments…

      • omniusprime - Apr 10, 2013 at 8:55 AM

        Actually I was thinking along the lines of a big nasty wet fart sound coming from Pauline Haggis.

  7. omniusprime - Apr 10, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    MWP proves he’s dedicated to his Laker team, so unlike that sissy Derrick Rose. Eat your hearts out Chicago fans, this is what a real warrior does, comes to play instead of crybabying about his injury not healing fast enough or being afraid of pushing himself.

    • bougin89 - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      Not trying to diminish what Metta has came back from but two totally different scenarios. Metta is a warrior no doubt, but a torn meniscus is no where near a torn ACL. Rose still says his knee doesn’t feel right and he still has pain. If he re-tears it, that’s probably his career. Also, Metta maybe on his last chance at a ring.

      Your comment slightly screams of being a total homer. Not surprising though.

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