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Report: Metta World Peace to exercise player option to stay with Lakers

Jun 25, 2013, 12:51 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

The Lakers will have Metta World Peace on their 2013-14 roster, at least until the team decides otherwise.

World Peace had a player option in the neighborhood of $7.7 million to play out the final year of his contract in Los Angeles. He could have chosen to become an unrestricted free agent instead, but that dollar figure — along with continuing to play for a Lakers team he’s been with for the last four seasons — likely made his decision an easy one.

From Sam Amick of USA Today:

Metta World Peace is staying put with the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the veteran small forward will play out the final year of his contract (worth $7.7 million) rather than exercise the early termination option on his deal. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the decision had not yet been made public.

World Peace had until Tuesday to make his decision …

World Peace, like the majority of his Lakers teammates last season, played through some injury issues. Most notable was his extremely quick return from a torn meniscus; World Peace managed to make it back onto the court in just 18 days, after surgery that had an estimated recovery time of six weeks.

While that level of commitment is appreciated, the team is expected to take a close look at whether or not they will enter next season with World Peace as part of the plan.

The Lakers are looking to shed salary anywhere they can in order to avoid paying significant luxury tax dollars, and World Peace’s contract — whether by amnesty or by trade — is a good place to start.

There’s plenty of uncertainty with the Lakers next season — Kobe Bryant‘s return from an Achilles injury, Dwight Howard‘s pending decision, and what the team chooses to do with Pau Gasol will all be major factors in determining whether or not L.A. can contend for a championship.

For now, one piece has fallen into place in terms of World Peace remaining on the roster, should the team choose to allow him to stay.

  1. ambitoos - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    If they dump the players then they lose fans which equals lost money and TV game time. Pay the fines as long as Kobe is there and then start to rebuild when Kobe’s contract expires. With Jerry Buss gone, we don’t know what jimmy’s going to do. Maybe Jimmy doesn’t know either.

  2. sfsugator - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Artest wouldn’t get that kind of money if he opted out, that’s obvious! father time is catching up to the warrior.

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      father time didn’t stop that knee from healing real
      quick so he can get back and play, say what you
      want about Ron but he goes hard and never dogs it.
      Remember that guy Curry, Kwame.

      • sfsugator - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:43 PM

        Metta World Peace isn’t half the player Ron Artest was in the 2010 run to the title. I’m not saying he doesn’t have huge stones for coming back so early from getting his knee cut up on im just saying he’s lost a step and a half.

  3. money2long - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    world peace resigning is a step in the right direction. it’s like knocking down dominoes. the pieces have to fall in the right place. had metta not resigned, it would give off an aura of jumping ship. and that probably would have had a negative effect on the lakers’ dwight howard situation. seeing metta go , dwight would probably be more eased into the idea of bolting than he may be feeling currently. the fact that a piece of the lakers puzzle decided to stay put, this may be the thinking that helps dwight stay as well.

    • bougin89 - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      This doesn’t mean Metta is definitely going to be a Laker. I’m guessing it’s more likely Metta is not a Laker this year. This was a smart move by Artest because he wasn’t going to get $7.7 million(for this season) as a free agent.

  4. 00maltliquor - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Good decision Metta! My dogg!! I would love for him to retire a Laker.

  5. ivanoiurares40 - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Reblogged this on TheSlashDash.

    • money2long - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      O BOY !

    • brookwell2013 - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      Ivan….dude….stop doing that….just stop it….we DON’T CARE IF YOU REBLOGGED IT……..jeez

  6. addict2sport - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    I don’t see anything influencing Dwight other than what he determines to be his own best interests. There are continued rumors of the Lakers pulling off a sign and trade but those rumors assume that Dwight would actually give the Lakers a heads up and an opportunity to pull off a sign and trade prior to signing with his new team. Highly unlikely Dwight gives anyone a heads up.

  7. pmx8411 - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    GO BACK TO INDIANA!

  8. jamieaadams - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    It looks like the Lakers are set up to be strikingly mediocre next season.

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      I didn’t catch the name of the team you root for.

      • jamieaadams - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        My team wears green and will barely make the playoffs next season…I hope.

        How does that change the mediocrity of the Lakers?

      • Anoesis - Jun 26, 2013 at 10:46 AM

        I think your assumption that MWP picking up his own option (and the Lakers perhaps then using their amnesty option on him) will be the only personnel move made by the Lakers is rather mediocre.

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