He has played in just 23 of the Lakers’ 65 games this season and is averaging career lows in points (4.3 per game) and shooting percentage (29.1 percent).
Yet at 36 years old with declining skills and a minimal role for the worst team in the Western Conference, World Peace said he wants to play past this season.
"I still want to get in the playoffs again. I want to do a couple more years,” he said Tuesday, per Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
World Peace indicated his diminished role has been the cause of his decline in production. But he believes he still has much to offer based on the limited contributions he has provided, per Bresnahan:
This year I didn't play much so I kind of saved myself. I'm going to come back next year strong. The games that I started, I played well.
I wanted to see if I could still compete. When I was getting my minutes, I was still able to compete.
Bleacher Report’s Michael Pina believes the former Defensive Player of the Year still has some of the skills that made him great:
To this day, Metta World Peace might be the last dude in the league I'd want guarding me— Michael Pina (@MichaelVPina) March 5, 2016
World Peace came off the bench Tuesday against the Orlando Magic in his third straight game of action and the just fourth time since Jan. 10. He filled in for Kobe Bryant while the soon-to-be retired icon was dealing with “everything soreness,” per Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo Sports.
After missing the 2014-15 season while playing with teams in China and Italy, World Peace signed a one-year deal with the Lakers, which was a surprise in itself.
The theme of this season has been centered around Bryant’s farewell tour and laying the groundwork for the future.
Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle are the young core the team hopes to build around, as well as the lottery pick draft selection they’re assured to gain after this year’s disappointing season.
Given World Peace's limited contributions and the team’s direction to develop its younger talent, a return seems highly unlikely. If he does get another go, it will probably be with another team.