World Peace Won’t Opt Out; Amnesty Next?
Metta World Peace won’t opt out of the final year of his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to his agent, Marc Cornstein. World Peace had until Tuesday to exercise the early-termination option on his contract, and the veteran forward had publicly discussed the possibility of doing so in order to secure a new multiyear deal. Instead, World Peace will receive the $7.7 million owed to him next season in the final season of the five-year deal signed with the Lakers in 2009.
Now the Lakers will have to decide whether they want to have World Peace on the team for 2013-14, or choose to waive him by using a one-time amnesty provision. Should the Lakers choose to amnesty World Peace, they would still owe him his full salary; however, the contract would not count against L.A.’s salary-cap figure and the move could end up saving the Lakers close to $30 million in luxury taxes.
Teams must inform the league of their plans to amnesty a player during a window from July 10-16, and the provision can be used only on a player who was signed before the new collective bargaining agreement was put in place in December 2011. Other than World Peace, the only amnesty options for the Lakers would be Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol or Steve Blake.