Metta World Peace Rumors: Latest on Knicks and More Interested in Free-Agent SF
Perhaps the oddest saga of the summer continues to rage on, as former NBA Defensive Player of the Year and never-ending source of comedic relief Metta World Peace remains a free agent. The Los Angeles Lakers used their amnesty provision on MWP, thus making the former NBA champion one of the hottest commodities around.
ESPN's Chris Broussard has more details about Metta World Peace's suitors now that he's cleared amnesty waivers.
While the Knicks are World Peace's first choice, he is also holding onto the Los Angeles Clippers and China's Shanghai Sharks as possible teams to join next season.
World Peace spoke Sunday with Yao Ming about playing in Shanghai, a source said.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Sunday he welcomed a potential addition of World Peace.
"I know his name has been surfacing out there," Woodson said in Las Vegas, where New York has a summer league team competing. "I can coach any player. I coached guys from 18-, 19-, 20-year-old young men, and built a team in Atlanta, and that's tough for a first-time coach. So I experienced that, and I don't think there's a player I can't coach if he's willing to be coached. ... If anybody comes to this team, they've got to understand it's all about team, man. It's not about individuals here, it's not about me as a coach. It's about the New York franchise trying to win an NBA title. If you understand that, then we've got a chance."
"I like his skill sets a lot. I think a lot of teams have liked his skill sets over the years. He does a little bit of everything."
According to Al Iannazzone of Newsday, the New York Knicks are the team most interested in signing the 33-year-old. The hitch here, of course, is that World Peace needed to clear waivers before the Knicks could make a move to bring him on.
He did, as Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski pointed out:
Metta World Peace has cleared waivers and become a free agent, league source tells Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 14, 2013
World Peace was set to make just under $8 million during the 2013-14 campaign before the Lakers used their amnesty provision on him.
Reports have been inconsistent as to whether or not World Peace would return to the NBA during the upcoming season. According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, MWP was actually targeting China and the Arena Football League as his potential destinations.
Per Chris Broussard of ESPN, however, the Knicks are at the top of the athlete formerly known as Ron Artest's list:
Source close to Metta just told me MWP definitely wants to play for Knicks. Clippers fairly distant 2nd, China 3rd— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 14, 2013
China still remains a possibility, though, as do the Los Angeles Clippers.
World Peace may not have signed a contract just yet, but there's certainly a great deal of interest for him from across the league. He may be 33 and losing his athleticism, but World Peace is as strong and tough as any in the league, thus helping him to defend both small and power forwards.
Where he ultimately ends up will be one of the hottest topics in NBA conversations this offseason.
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