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UPDATE: Thursday, July 11, 7:55 p.m. ET by Zach Buckley
The writing was already on the wall, but now it's found its official place on the transactions page.
Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reports that the Los Angeles Lakers have waived Metta World Peace using the amnesty provision. Per Ding, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak admitted it was not easy to part with World Peace. According to World Peace, Kupchak called him personally to break the news.
Emotions aside, this was a move that the Lakers had to make. If Ding's previous calculations are correct, L.A. just saved itself nearly $30 million in salary-cap commitments and luxury-tax hits.
With Kobe Bryant still nursing his torn Achilles and Dwight Howard racing to the Houston Rockets, the Lakers didn't have the realistic postseason goals to justify an enormous tax bill.
--End of update--
UPDATE: Monday, July 8, 7:50 p.m. ET by Adam Fromal
Metta World Peace may still be amnestied, but it hasn't officially happened yet. Technically, it won't actually take place until the moratorium lifts on July 10, so anything can happen before then.
Here's the latest from the Los Angeles Times' Eric Pincus: "I did write today that it's conceivable the Lakers keep him - getting Kaman instead of a wing - but $ is $ - so we'll see"
Pincus isn't convinced that the amnesty is a guarantee quite yet, so this remains nothing more than a potential move.
UPDATE: Monday, July 8, 7:25 p.m. ET by Adam Fromal
Sadly, all good things must come to an end.
Such is the case for Metta World Peace's tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers, as the O.C. Register's Kevin Ding reports that the team will use the amnesty provision to free itself of around $30 million. Given that the Lakers aren't set up to compete for a championship and a lack of financial flexibility prohibits upward mobility, it's a logical move for a team trying to avoid a hefty luxury-tax payment.
The small forward averaged 12.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.6 blocks per game during his final season in purple and gold.
Now we'll get a chance to see how many teams are interested in World Peace.
UPDATE: Monday, July 8, 4:01 p.m. ET by Dan Favale
Dave McMenamin over at ESPN reports that with Dwight Howard gone, the Lakers would "most likely" amnesty Metta World Peace.
Parting ways with the forward would save the Lakers close to $25 million in salary and luxury taxes, McMenamin says.
According Amick, Metta World Peace will not exercise his early termination clause, and he'll remain under contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.
MWP verified that he'll be sticking around L.A. for the final year of his deal via Twitter.
Buying or Selling?
Consider this one "bought." World Peace has been officially amnestied, saving the Lakers roughly $30 million in salary and tax penalties as listed above.
"It's tough to say goodbye to a player such as Metta, who has been a significant part of our team the past four seasons. For anyone who's had the opportunity to get to know him, it's impossible not to love him," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a release on ESPN.com.
World Peace is now free to sign with any NBA team, and the Lakers will have his $7.7 million contract come off their salary cap.