Why Metta World Peace Will Prove to Be a Steal for NY Knicks

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Why Metta World Peace Will Prove to Be a Steal for NY Knicks
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The New York Knicks haven't had much to spend in free agency, but thanks to the amnesty provision they've managed to add a quality role player without breaking the bank.

When Metta World Peace was amnestied by the Los Angeles Lakers, it was clear he and the Knicks were a perfect match and that became a reality on Tuesday.

New York was in need of an extra small forward after losing Chris Copeland to the Indiana Pacers and World Peace was arguably the best available for the asking price.

World Peace is still going to receive the $7.3 million he was set to make with the Lakers, which allowed him to sign a contract worth just $3.2 million over two years with the Knicks (the last year is a player option).

Though he's not the player he once was, World Peace looked a little bit more like Ron Artest last season, having his most productive year as a Laker. While the rest of the team was in turmoil, he posted a solid 12.4 points, 5 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.

It's unlikely that he'll play over 30 minutes per game in New York, but he's still a very well-rounded player that can contribute on both ends of the floor when he gets the opportunity. Most importantly, he's capable of playing elite defense in the post and on the perimeter, where the Knicks were mediocre last year.

As a Queensbridge native, World Peace is going to be fully-focused on helping out his hometown team and should provide quality minutes off the bench or as a starter.

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
Metta's return to New York is all about trying to win another championship.

At this point, World Peace isn't here for the money or to have an easy ride before he retires. As he said in his interview with MSG, he came here for the challenge of winning in the Mecca. He could easily have gone to China or played Arena Football if he wanted to, but this is all about getting his second ring.

That sort of attitude is exactly what the Knicks need in their hunt for a title. They need players who can contribute on both ends of the floor with nothing on their mind but winning, and World Peace is just that. Not to mention that he has plenty of playoff experience having played 85 postseason games in his career.

Considering all the frontcourt injuries that took place last season, it was essential that the Knicks added quality depth. Both Amar'e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani are coming off injuries, they needed to add another player who can move the 4 if need be.

There's still work to be done in free agency, and New York would be wise to re-sign Kenyon Martin and add another center to back up Tyson Chandler. Jeremy Tyler has looked impressive in Summer League, but another veteran would help as well.

With a player like World Peace, there's always a worry that he could do something crazy at some point, but considering what they're paying him, this is a very low-risk move. He understands his place on the team and is willing to do the dirty work. He didn't come back to New York to mess around and get in trouble.

The only question with World Peace is whether or not he'll start, but he's already made it clear that he's not too bothered about that. He just wants to win, and so do the Knicks. A value signing like this brings them both one step closer to that goal.

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