Building a roster with zero cap space is a challenge that yields mediocrity more often than not.
Phil Jackson faces plenty of issues in the upcoming weeks, and if he can remedy some of his roster's defensive woes by luring cheap veteran talent—like Metta World Peace—his tenure with the Knicks will have fewer bumps than expected.
Via Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley, it seems World Peace may be interested in rejoining Jackson in New York.
Why NY Needs World Peace
World Peace's first stint with the organization was far from lucrative, and due to some nagging injuries, he was never afforded the opportunity to get in rhythm and contribute to the team while playing meaningful minutes.
He may be a shell of his former self—from his days at St. John's University and with the Indiana Pacers—but he's still a wily defender that knows the intricacies of the triangle offense. If Jackson decides to hire a coach that runs the triangle, players familiar with the system will be needed to coax the learning process.
Metta World Peace said the following about Jackson's offense, via Marc Berman of the NY Post,
It took me a few months to get it. It’s the energy that’s different. The energy and the rhythm I wasn’t accustomed to. I was used to playing at my own pace. You have to learn to play in spots, take advantage of certain situations and be ready for a big moment. I would only take five shots in some games, 20 in others. Phil showed me the benefit of patience. And I had a lot of memorable games in the playoffs.
The triangle is most efficient when players are willing to sacrifice their individual stats, and World Peace is familiar with that necessary oblation, from his time with Jackson in L.A.:
One of the hardest things to become is a player who sacrifices. He showed me the benefits of sacrificing. Right before I came to the Lakers, I was averaging 16, 17 shots per game. After that, it was all about sacrifice and my numbers went down. I was the same player, but he showed me the benefits of sacrificing to win a title.
Having World Peace around in the locker room talking to his teammates and reminding them of the end goal will be a crucial piece of leadership that aids the transition from selfish styles of play into a winning environment.
The downside to World Peace's return and reunion with Jackson is minimal.
World Peace won't demand much in terms of salary, and as long as he's given a chance to contribute on a nightly basis, he won't be a disgruntled distraction.
He may joke around and say outlandish things, but he knows the importance of winning at this stage in his career.
At 34 years old, his swan song is coming, and he's willing to do what it takes to bring a ring to his hometown. And if for some reason he can no longer perform up to par or isn't an encouraging and supporting leader in the locker room, it won't cost the Knicks much at all.
Defense wins championships and World Peace—a former Defensive Player of the Year award winner—has specialized on that end his entire career. He may not be on the level he once was, but he still has the lateral movement and athleticism necessary to defend four positions for 15 minutes or so per game.
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