Best NBA Destinations for Metta World Peace After NY Knicks Buyout
It's time for Metta World Peace to find a new home.
As entertaining as his online exploits might be for all of us, he can't just become a professional Twitter master, and he's still a solid enough role player that he should be able to land with another team once his buyout with the New York Knicks is complete.
Newsday's Al Iannazzone first broke the news, tweeting, "I am hearing the Metta and Beno buyouts are agreed upon. Not sure when they will be official or announced."
World Peace himself also told the world, "My agent just informed me this release could happen any hr now. I just want to say 'Thanks for everything.'"
So while he's not officially off the New York roster, he might as well be. And that means it's time for him to start searching for the next uniform he gets to put on.
He has been having a rough season for the dysfunctional Knicks, as he's almost completely fallen out of the rotation during recent weeks. Sometimes a change is necessary when a veteran is trying to turn things around, and his defensive skills should ensure that he gets a new opportunity.
Chances are that World Peace won't waste his time with a non-contender, so you can scratch all teams that aren't at least on the verge of making the playoffs. Chemistry is also going to be a concern, so don't expect to see a team like the Miami Heat snatching him up.
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors still need depth.
Even after acquiring Steve Blake from the Los Angeles Lakers just before the trade deadline, the Dubs don't have the strongest second unit, and it would help to add another defensive piece who can step in at power forward. Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green can play out of position, but that doesn't work against tougher lineups.
World Peace, for all the trouble he's had during the 2013-14 campaign, can still lock down his man.
According to 82games.com, he played 8 percent of the Knicks' available minutes at small forward and 5 percent at power forward. Against those positions, he held the opposition to player efficiency ratings of 13.7 and 14.3, respectively.
If anything, his mark against power forwards is an aberration, just not in a negative way. During his final season with the Los Angeles Lakers, he kept opposing 4s to a 13.7 PER, which is a better mark than his numbers at any other position.
Marreese Speights has actually played better defense against frontcourt players than any of the aforementioned players, but World Peace would still allow Barnes and Green to shift to their more natural positions.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers desperately need help in the frontcourt, so for the sake of the team, we're referring to World Peace as a power forward and nothing else in this situation.
After the team traded away Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens, this is the updated depth chart for the biggest positions on the court:
- Power forward: Blake Griffin
- Center: DeAndre Jordan, Ryan Hollins
That's it. Three players.
LAC is left hoping that Matt Barnes can get big to play some power forward when Griffin needs a breather, and I have no clue what the plan is if multiple guys get into foul trouble. There's a solid chance we could see one game feature Hollins and Barnes as the frontcourt members for a lengthy stretch.
Does anyone want that to happen?
Well, the rest of the Western Conference probably does. But other than that...
If World Peace is looking for minutes and wins, this is his best bet. There's a dire need for players with his skill set, and the Clippers might be willing to overlook his baggage.
According to Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling on Twitter, MWP's father said he'd love to see him on the Clippers. So should fans in LA, especially because he'd only be the latest reclamation project, following in the footsteps of Hedo Turkoglu, Sasha Vujacic, Stephen Jackson and Jamison.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Phoenix Suns stood pat at the trade deadline, declining to make any sort of move with either Emeka Okafor's massive expiring contract or their boatload of first-round picks.
But that doesn't mean they're out of options.
With Gerald Green playing shooting guard in Eric Bledsoe's stead, only the Morris twins are serving as backup forwards on a consistent basis. Given the speed with which this team plays, it would be nice to add one.
Especially one who's a defensive stud.
After all, only one of Marcus and Markieff is much of a contributor on the less glamorous end of the court.
According to Basketball-Reference, the team allows 0.9 more points per 100 possessions when Marcus is playing. With Markieff on the court, the Suns are much better, allowing 2.6 fewer, but he's only one player.
It helps to have another contributor.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder can't be content to finish the season without a title.
Anything short of holding up the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy at the end of the year should be considered a failure, and it's in the team's best interest to add everything possible in the hopes of maximizing that chance of success.
Well, it looks likely that the Thunder—if they make it through the Western Conference gauntlet—will face either the Indiana Pacers or Miami Heat. And by extension, they'll have to shut down either Paul George or LeBron James.
Kevin Durant is so important to the offense that he can't be tasked with slowing down one of those superstars for 48 minutes. Someone else has to step up, and that means either overplaying Thabo Sefolosha or relying on Perry Jones III—neither of which is a promising option.
With only 13 players on the roster right now, OKC has enough room to add a player without cutting anyone from the squad. Why not use the space on a veteran who can specifically be used to stop what figures to be one of the surefire strengths of the opposition?
Again, it's important to do everything possible to promote winning it all.
San Antonio Spurs
Welcome to reclamation city.
Gregg Popovich is the master of maximizing talent from San Antonio Spurs role players, and it's scary to think about what he might do with a defensive weapon like World Peace at his disposal. It's also hilarious to consider the irony of him venting about World Peace in surly fashion during a mid-game interview.
Plus, there's already a relationship here, as Mike Monroe of MySanAntonio.com explains:
Two factors that could mitigate concerns they might have about World Peace: The sore right hand that may affect starting small forward and defensive ace Kawhi Leonard for the foreseeable future; and the relationship player development coach Chad Forcier developed with World Peace when both were with the Pacers.
Forcier was on Rick Carlisle’s coaching staff in Indiana when World Peace, then Ron Artest, was with the Pacers and worked closely with him, developing his offensive game. In fact, he was sitting on the press table next to Artest-World Peace when Artest charged into the stands at The Palace of Auburn Hills in 2002, igniting the “Malice in The Palace” incident that resulted in Artest’s being suspended for the remainder of the season.
If anyone on the Spurs staff has some insight as to World Peace’s state of mind, Forcier is the guy.
The Spurs make a killing with guys like World Peace.
It's a more extreme case of turning Danny Green and Boris Diaw into quality players or making Marco Belinelli into a big contributor.