Lakers Trade Speculation: Does Metta World Peace Have Any Trade Value Left?

Ethan NorofCorrespondent IFebruary 23, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Metta World Peace #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center on February 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

To call Metta World Peace's play for the Los Angeles Lakers this season underwhelming would be an understatement.

Peace, who is making nearly $7 million this season, has been unable to find his touch on the offensive end of the floor regardless of his role.

The veteran is posting career-low numbers in shooting percentage (33 percent), three-point percentage (21.2), rebounds (2.8), steals (0.8) and points (4.8) in just under 23 minutes per game.

After a failed experiment as the sixth man, World Peace hasn't been able to put his early-season struggles behind him and remains a major reason as to why Los Angeles has endured inconsistent production from its small forward position.

In the middle of a five-year deal, the player formerly known as Ron Artest is owed more than $14 million over the next two seasons through 2013-14.

Does he hold any trade value? Please. His lucrative deal prevents that as a realistic possibility.

He's not playing the style of defense that garnered him a reputation as a lockdown defender, nor is he contributing at the offensive end of the floor.

World Peace is making terrible decisions with the ball in his hands, is taking ill-advised jumpers and continues to chuck up three-point attempts despite sinking just 14-of-66 this season.

Some would argue that he'd benefit from being more aggressive in putting the ball on the floor and attacking the rim, but he's converting at an embarrassingly-low 51.1 percent clip.

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 03:  Detail of the back of the jersey of Metta World Peace #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers as the Lakers defeated the Denver Broncos 93-89 at the Pepsi Center on February 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknow
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In other words, that's just 1.8 percent higher than Dwight Howard. Yikes.

Since his insertion into the starting lineup, the Lakers have amassed a respectable 9-4 record, but World Peace has played in more than 30 minutes just three times.

Despite the favorable record, World Peace's scoring (4.0 ppg), field-goal percentage (32.7) and free-throw percentage (35.7) are all down while he's been a member of the starting five.

Scoring in double-digits just three times since the beginning of 2012, there has been mounting frustration among the fanbase about when World Peace might turn the corner.

But this isn't a new trend.

His offense began to slide during the 2010-11 season, and it's gone even further south during the 2011-12 campaign.

After being a critical component to the championship run during the 2009-10 season, World Peace just hasn't been the same player for Los Angeles over the last year and a half.

Los Angeles could look to explore the market for World Peace, but the team would find that there is just no interest in a declining 31-year-old forward who isn't playing up to par considering what he's being paid.

It's tough to blame the other 29 teams. The value just isn't there.