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Metta World Peace Signs 1-Year Contract with Los Angeles Lakers

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

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The Los Angeles Lakers announced they have signed Metta World Peace, who will be returning to the NBA after a year overseas.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported World Peace's deal is for one year.

Leading into the deal, Peace wasn't picky about which team NBA team he would play for. “I’m ready for any scenario,” World Peace said on Sept. 12, via Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News, who described the dialogue that occurred leading up to the deal:

USA Today reported that Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is contemplating whether to bring him back.

But World Peace told the Daily News that he and Kupchak haven’t talked about his return yet.

“Me and Mitch have a cool relationship but we have not talked about me coming back to the Lakers,” World Peace told the News. “I call Mitch about other things. We just have a good relationship. Whether I come to the Lakers or not, me and Mitch would still be cool.” 

Wojnarowski reported on Sept. 9 that World Peace had been working out daily at the team's facility.

The 35-year-old's last stop in the NBA came with the New York Knicks. He played 29 games in the Big Apple, averaging 4.8 points and two rebounds a night in 13.4 minutes on the floor. The Knicks waived World Peace in February 2014.

After his departure from New York, World Peace moved overseas, spending short stints with the Sichuan Blue Whales in China and Pallacanestro Cantu in Italy.

“I work out. I’m still one of the best small forwards in the world, but my career has been up-and-down," added World Peace, via Abramson:

With my career being up and down, some teams are like, ‘Can we use Metta World Peace, where is he going to fit in? Is he going to be good for the rookies? Can he still play?’ I’m still one of the best small forwards in the world so that’s not a question. But the question is can I actually fit into a team and can a coach coach me? Those are realistic questions and it’s cool. I still train to be one of the best.

Critics will view this as another sign that the Lakers will be mired in mediocrity in 2015-16. According to Basketball-Reference.com, World Peace hasn't had a positive net rating since the 2009-10 season and hasn't had a player efficiency rating above 15.0—the league average—since 2008-09.

However, the Lakers are a very young team. Having another experienced player such as World Peace in the locker room could be a benefit to guys such as D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson.

No matter what happens, a reunion between Los Angeles and World Peace will at least provide plenty of entertainment.

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