New York Knicks: Why the Knicks Should Steer Clear of Metta World Peace

Thomas DuffyFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2013

December 25, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) controls the ball against the defense of Los Angeles Lakers small forward Metta World Peace (15) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are far from a complete team. But this is the best they’ve been since 1993—Mike Woodson’s squad will be looking to build off its first division title since the Patrick Ewing era.

Carmelo Anthony is the best Knick since Ewing and is as hungry as ever for his first coveted title—something No. 33 never achieved.

New York reportedly has interest in the recently waived Metta World Peace, who was let go by the Los Angeles Lakers via the amnesty clause. A lot has to happen for World Peace to end up in the Big Apple, but he’s made it known that the Knicks are his first choice.

Now, let’s be clear about something—MWP is as eccentric and unpredictable as they come. Apparently, he told his father that he’d retire if amnestied by the Lakers. He told Dave McMenamin of ESPN LA the same thing, but there is much speculation that it is just a ploy to reduce interest from other teams.

Chris Berman of the New York Post explained the situation:

Eleven teams under the cap who can block his move to the Knicks, who received another blow yesterday when the Nets signed forward Andrei Kirilenko. Michael Jordan’s Bobcats, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, Orlando, Sacramento, Dallas, Utah, Cleveland and Phoenix can now bid on World Peace in the next 48 hours.

If nobody bids on the controversial 33-year-old small forward, he becomes an outright free agent available for the veteran’s minimum of $1.4 million.

World Peace tweeted a picture of himself in a Knicks hat and has made it known to people close to him that he’d like to return to New York, which is where he was raised, and play for the Knicks.

Per Sam Amick of USA Today:

If Metta World Peace, a Queensbridge, N.Y. native, is waived by the Los Angeles Lakers soon by way of their amnesty clause, he's hoping to return home to continue his career.

According to a person with knowledge of World Peace's situation, the list of teams that he would most like to play for starts with the New York Knicks and is followed in order by the Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and the Indiana Pacers.

Upon hearing that World Peace genuinely wants to come to N.Y., the team should've turned around and ran away as fast as it could.

Instead, the Knicks have inexplicably shown interest in the veteran forward.

MWP, formerly known as Ron Artest, started the most controversial brawl in the history of the NBA, elbowed James Harden square in the face for no apparent reason and will become a detriment to New York if he somehow ends up in orange and blue.

Without any true offensive game, World Peace mustered up 12.4 points per game last season but did so by shooting 40.3 percent from the field. He connected on 34.2 percent of his attempts from three-point range and threw in five rebounds a night.

The main reason New York must stay away from World Peace doesn’t really have to do with what he’ll bring on the court, but because of what he’ll cause off of it.

Kobe Bryant kept MWP in line on the Lakers; who on the Knicks roster can stay on top of the 33-year-old veteran?

World Peace likes to shoot, to say the least, which is evident by his launching of 11 shots a game last season. The Knicks don’t have room for another guy who is going to fire up a bunch of ill-advised jumpers—that’s J.R. Smith’s job.

In all seriousness, though, think about this: The Knicks have gotten younger (Tim Hardaway Jr.) and better on the perimeter (Andrea Bargnani) this offseason, brought back key pieces from last year’s team (Smith, Pablo Prigioni) and have a ton of great chemistry on the roster.

Bringing in World Peace, as contradictory as this may sound, could destroy everything the Knicks have going for them.

Those clamoring for the veteran forward hold the belief that he’ll bring this unparalleled defensive presence to the team. However, that may not be the case.

According to Synergy Sports, World Peace, who has a reputation as a quality defender, was scored on in 38 percent of his defensive possessions in 2013. Anthony, who is constantly berated for being a poor defender, allowed a basket on 38.1 percent of his defensive possessions.

Risking a ton for, and spending money on, a player who was one-tenth of a better defender than Anthony is ridiculous.

The Knicks need to lock up a deal with Kenyon Martin, or a comparable big man, and then maybe add a third point guard along with Prigioni and Raymond Felton.

Although New York had a nice draft and made a solid trade for Bargnani, forgetting all about the ridiculous idea of signing World Peace could be the best decision the team makes during the offseason.