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Report: Lakers will amnesty Metta World Peace

Jul 8, 2013, 9:31 PM EDT

Metta World Peace AP

The Lakers aren’t Riggin’ for Wiggins – signing veteran center Chris Kaman proves that – but they’re hedging their bets.

With Dwight Howard in Houston, Kobe Bryant injured, Pau Gasol old and Steve Nash older, the shine has worn off Lakers’ once-promising starting lineup. So, no sense keeping the weak link of that unit just to keep up appearances.

The Lakers will amnesty Metta World Peace, according to Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register.

The NBA hasn’t yet officially set its luxury-tax line, and it’s not yet determined what other moves the Lakers will make, so it’s impossible to give an exact amount they’ll save by amnestying World Peace. Some estimates peg the Lakers’ savings as high as $30 million, but I believe the true number will be much lower.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement calls for a progressive tax rate, so if the Lakers had re-signed Howard, World Peace’s salary would have been taxed at a much higher rate. Without Howard, the Lakers will likely fall not far above the tax line, and amnestying World Peace might even get them below it.

For estimating purposes, let’s say the Lakers’ payroll is equal to the luxury-tax line without World Peace’s $7,727,280 contract. That would mean his entire salary, and only his salary, would be taxed. The first $5 million would be taxed at $1.50 per dollar – totaling $7..5 million. The other $2,727,280 would be taxed at $1.75 per dollar – totaling $4,772,740.

In sum, by removing World Peace’s contract from their books, the Lakers would reduce their tax burden by $12,272,740 next season.

It’s more likely the actual number emerges as slightly higher than $12.3 million than slightly below $12.3 million, but that’s a decent estimate.

However, this discussion all amounts to more money for the Buss Family, even though they’ll have still to pay World Peace/

By amnestying World Peace, barring several other moves, the Lakers aren’t generating any cap room. At best, the most likely gain would be the ability to use the non-taxpayer mid-level exception ($5,150,000) rather than the taxpayer mid-level exception ($3,183,000).

But spending those extra couple million dollars might push the Lakers back over the luxury-tax line, which might not be so costly this season, but could be in future years. The Lakers should try avoiding the luxury tax this season, when their outlook is bleaker, so they delay triggering repeater penalties when they eventually assemble a better (read: more expensive) roster.

On the court, which is much less important here, the Lakers won’t really miss World Peace if they end up playing for lottery odds rather than a playoff berth – and they might not miss him much, anyway, if they’re trying to win as many games as possible, because he’s no longer a reliable starter. But with Earl Clark headed to Cleveland, the Lakers will need to add another small forward.

As for World Peace, he’ll go on the amnesty waiver wire. At 33, he’s clearly declining, and he might not fit in every locker room. But any contender with strong veteran leadership and cap room should at least enter a minimum-salary bid for him. At that price, he can’t really hurt.

  1. kanemoney - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    This only makes sense if they also trade Gasol. His salary is a lot less than 20mil. Honestly, amnesty Kobe -30mil and prob won’t play next season.

    • bougin89 - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      If the Lakers amnesty Kobe, Kobe never plays for the Lakers again.

      • savvybynature - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        On the bright side, if that’s true maybe big-time free agents like Dwight Howard would consider playing for the Lakers again!

      • alinep2576 - Jul 9, 2013 at 12:14 PM

        RIGHT!! I guess than Miami should amnestify Lebron James!! Common Kobe is the face of Lakers and he is currently the best NBA player ALIVE! Its unfortunate that Lakers are losing World Metta Peace but they’re possibly getting Memo! Either way with couple improvements here and there Lakers can win another championship next year! Considering that they might get Lamar Odom back, and are investing in all these new talent. Howard will never do anything with the ” Astros” especially after yet another knee surgery coming up! LOL! Thanks GOD Lakers didn’t get Howard! He doesn’t deserve to be the face of the Lakers! I rather have Memo or Lebron after Kobe retires. For now WE have a GREAT player in Kobe, and he will go down in the history with possible 7-8 Championships!! WORD!

  2. ProBasketballPundit - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Time for the Miami Heat to pick him up for veteran’s minimum and win another championship. Man who’d have thunk the Heat would benefit so much from the new CBA with the amnesty provision?

    • fanofthegame79 - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      I think the Heat have to be under the cap in order to sign MWP.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:53 AM

        I think MWP would have to clear waivers or something… I don’t know exactly how it works BUT I know the Heat haven’t been under the cap for 3 years but they’ve picked up amnestied players Rashard Lewis and Chris Andersen.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:46 AM

        Good points!

      • source7769 - Jul 9, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        no you can go over the cap to sign as many players as you want to fill out a roster if you sign them to the league min which they can offer an amnesty player

    • bougin89 - Jul 9, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      Nobody put waiver claims on Birdman and Rashard Lewis. They were unrestricted free agents. MWP will be up for a silent auction so to speak. Highest bidder gets his service. I can see plenty of teams putting in minimum claims on him. A team with cap space/an exception to use could use him for $2 million off the bench I would think.

  3. lakerwoman - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Please be wrong. We LOVE Metta!!!!!

    • alinep2576 - Jul 9, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      Metta is a very Hard Worker, and I’d HATE to lose him to some stupid amnesty crap! Miami will NEVER get Metta, because he is coming back to the Lakers next year!!

      • elcapitanfiscal - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:53 AM

        Another dumb lakers fan..

        You cant sign someone you just amnestied!

  4. thekumbaman - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    dont do it Lakers. You will regret it.

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