OAKLAND – In a move that would be so Metta World Peace, Metta World Peace is not ruling out the possibility of terminating his contract after the season against all logic, telling NBA.com he would consider the move in the summer if it meant he could remain with the Lakers longer.
World Peace has a player option for 2013-14, the final year of his contract, at $7.7 million. He said his agent, Marc Cornstein, will approach the Lakers about an extension, but that will be a very short conversation unless the 33-year-old small forward is willing to take a severe pay cut. And it may be short no matter what.
If World Peace does not terminate the deal, he immediately becomes a candidate to be cut under the amnesty provision. If he does terminate, likely (one would hope) after conversations with team officials to gauge the chances of getting more years at a lot less money annually, it is nearly impossible to imagine the Lakers committing more than two seasons on a new deal to maintain the possible cap room in the summer of 2014.
The choice for World Peace could be to risk free agency in what figures to be a cold market in 2013 or keep the final season of the contract in place at the $7.7 million and possibly have his Lakers career end before he wants. He could also stay in the deal and be traded as an expiring contract to an undesirable destination.
“I think my agent is trying to see if he can get an extension to stay here in L.A.,” World Peace told NBA.com. “I’m really excited about the possibilities of staying here in L.A.”
But would he take a pay cut to help make it happen?
“It’s too early to say those types of things right now,” he said Monday night at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors beat the Lakers 109-103. “It’s too early to say. I don’t know what the Lakers are thinking. I don’t know what anybody’s thinking. I don’t even know what other teams think. I don’t know what’s going on because I haven’t told my agent, ‘Hey, go out there and ask around’ and things like that. I don’t know what anybody’s thinking at this point in time. I just try to keep my game. I’m playing at a good level.”
World Peace is averaging 12.8 points and 5.1 rebounds in 34.6 minutes. He played just 19 minutes Monday, all in the first half.
“He said the back of his knee was bothering him,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I told him, ‘Well, if it’s bothering you, you can’t go out.’ He said it’s really hurting. That’s why we held him. But I don’t know what that means. He said he felt fluid in the back of his knee.”