Lakers News: Latest on Metta World Peace, Jordan Farmar and More

Alex KayCorrespondent IJuly 10, 2013

ATLANTA - MARCH 31:  Ron Artest #37 and Jordan Farmar #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers against Maurice Evans #1 of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on March 31, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  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 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Lakers' offseason has not gone according to plan.

Once Dwight Howard defected to the Houston Rockets, the club was stunned and was left to pick up the pieces.

Stuck in NBA purgatory—between truly contending for a championship and bottoming out to rebuild—the Lakers have a lot of questions to answer in the coming weeks.

Let’s take a look at what the organization plans to do in order to remain relevant in 2013-14, which free agents will be wearing the Purple and Gold and more.


Farmar Back in Tinseltown

Jordan Farmar, the backup point guard who helped the Lakers earn back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010, is planning to make his triumphant return to the City of Angels.

According to ESPN Los Angeles’ Dave McMenamin, Farmar agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth approximately $1 million Tuesday night. The veteran just needs to negotiate a buyout with his Turkish team—Anadolu Efes—in order to make it official.

He agreed to a three-year arrangement worth $10.5 million with the foreign franchise last year but wants to break it off in order to return to the Lakers.

Farmar is best remembered coming off the bench to provide consistent three-point shooting and strong enough defense to warrant 13 minutes per game behind Derek Fisher during those two championship runs.

The team he will return to is much different, but the Lakers will need Farmar to shine brighter than ever when he spells starter Steve Nash.


Lakers Paying the Price for Mediocrity

The Lakers went all-in on winning the NBA Finals last year, acquiring Nash and Howard to aid Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in their quest to navigate through the Western Conference and best the Miami Heat.

Unfortunately, things never got off the ground during a season marred by injury, coaching changes, chemistry issues, age and more.

Now ownership is going to have to cut a massive check for their misgivings, as ESPN’s Marc Stein found that the team’s luxury-tax payment for going over the cap in 2012-13 is going to be $29.26 million.

The championship-winning Heat, boasting highly paid superstars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, only need to fork over $13.35 million to the league.

To put that in perspective, L.A. owes more than double what South Beach does for a squad that barely made the playoffs and was quickly swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round.

After paying such a lofty fee, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the Lakers to be much more cautious about their free-spending ways in the future.


World Peace May Be Amnestied

Due to the severe financial ramifications of the luxury tax, the Lakers are reportedly exploring the possibility of making starting small forward Metta World Peace the latest victim of the amnesty clause found in the latest collective bargaining agreement.

According to ESPN’s Jared Zwerling, the Lakers haven’t made an official decision yet, but the latest rumors indicate that the mercurial veteran could be on his way out.

ForbesKurt Badenhausen noted that the club would save approximately $16 million by cutting ties with the player formerly known as Ron Artest, although he would still be paid the full $7.7 million salary he is owed for the upcoming season if no competing team bids for his contract.

If general manager Mitch Kupchak pulls the trigger on the transaction, World Peace would have a number of suitors around the league.

Zwerling notes that the New York Knicks are one destination, as World Peace is a native son in the Big Apple and could aid in their quest to win a title.

Regardless of where he ends up, Lakers fans will surely miss his top-tier defense and crazy antics. He was an integral part of the organization’s 2010 championship run and will not be forgotten.