Los Angeles Clippers Will Reportedly Have Interest in Metta World Peace

Ben Leibowitz@BenLeboCorrespondent IIIFebruary 24, 2014

Dec 10, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Knicks small forward Metta World Peace reacts in the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

As buyout situations continue to take shape around the NBA, Sam Amick of USA Today reports that the Los Angeles Clippers will be interested in free-agent forward Metta World Peace, who has been waived by the New York Knicks.

The Clippers have already been very active in free agency by making a variety of midseason pickups. They signed 29-year-old guard Sasha Vujacic to a 10-day contract in early February, mere weeks after signing veteran forward Hedo Turkoglu for the remainder of the 2013-14 season.

According to the Clippers' Twitter account, they have also signed free-agent forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis. He'll reunite with head coach Doc Rivers, who coached Davis during his stint with the Boston Celtics.

Now L.A. is tied to yet another veteran in the free-agent pool.

World Peace is an experienced forward who won a title in 2010 as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, but he's gone through an abrupt decline since. In 29 games for New York, MWP averaged 4.8 points and two rebounds per game while shooting 39.7 percent from the field and 31.5 percent from three-point range.

Although his offensive production has dipped significantly, his defensive prowess has remained relatively consistent. NBA.com indicates that his defensive rating (team points allowed per 100 possessions with Metta on the court) is a very respectable 100.2.

Be aware that that statistic is part of a small sample size, but there's reason to believe MWP could still make a defensive impact in short bursts.

According to the Los Angeles TimesBroderick Turner and Ben Bolch, the Clippers decided to trade Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens prior to the 2014 trade deadline in order to open up two roster spots and get under the luxury tax threshold. 

Provided that Davis has slid into one of those positions, World Peace would potentially take the second available roster spot.

USA Today's Sam Amick points out that the signing is "not a slam dunk," but the artist formerly known as Ron Artest knows what it takes to win a title. It sounds absurd, but he may actually be a good fit beside Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in L.A. as they prepare for a playoff run in the loaded Western Conference.

ESPN's Chris Broussard, however, is reporting that World Peace hopes to end up with the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder, so there may be doubts to a potential future with the Clips.

The Clippers offense has already been running like a well-oiled machine, as it ranks second in the NBA with an offensive efficiency of 108.7 points per 100 possessions (tied with the Portland Trail Blazers). Due to that, it makes sense for L.A. to target the defensive-minded veteran as a means of adding depth.

Jared Dudley has struggled since leaving the Phoenix Suns via trade, so giving Coach Rivers plenty of options on the bench can only be seen as a net positive.