Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
According to the USA Today's Sam Amick, Metta World Peace has no interest in playing for a rebuilding team:
There's an obvious message being sent here by the 33-year-old who has logged 14 seasons: he has no interest in being picked up by a rebuilding team on waivers. Should the Lakers amnesty World Peace as the Orange County Register has reported they likely will, he would have to clear waivers first in order to control his own destination.
The Cleveland Cavaliers may still technically be considered a "rebuilding team," but they're already prepared to compete in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland will be a playoff team at the conclusion of the 2013-14 regular season, especially after adding Andrew Bynum to the frontcourt.
If Bynum can look like he did the last time he was teammates with MWP, the Cavs could earn one of the top four seeds in the East. That's also assuming that Kyrie Irving can actually stay healthy.
Cleveland is set at a number of positions.
Irving and Jarrett Jack have point guard under control. Dion Waiters is the future of the 2-guard spot. Anthony Bennett, Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller and Bynum will hold down the fort at power forward and center in some as-yet-unknown combination.
However, small forward is still a position of weakness.
The Cavs could run out Bennett, the newest No. 1 draft pick, at the 3, but that's an ill-fated idea. The UNLV product would be abused defensively and can't yet space the floor out like he needs to at small forward. Alonzo Gee, Sergey Karasev and C.J. Miles are the other options, but they aren't very appealing.
Karasev will be interesting down the road, but not as an international prospect playing out his rookie season.
There's an obvious solution here: Wait for MWP to clear waivers and sign him to a minimum contract.
His defense would be yet another valuable piece as the Cavs attempt to make a massive leap forward during the 2013-14 season.