Los Angeles Lakers small forward Metta World Peace said Thursday that Magic Johnson, the team's new president of basketball operations, told him he likely won't be back with the organization for the 2017-18 NBA season.
Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet provided details of the conversation from World Peace, who noted Johnson "really appreciated" his contributions but added the franchise was probably going to move in a different direction for the future.
The 37-year-old New York native took on a limited role for the rebuilding squad this season. He averaged a career-low 2.3 points while shooting 27.9 percent from the field across 25 appearances.
World Peace, originally known as Ron Artest, barely cracked the Lakers roster coming out of training camp. It leaves his NBA future up in the air as he heads toward unrestricted free agency.
Last August, the 1999 first-round pick told Ian Begley of ESPN he hoped to get into coaching once his playing days reached a conclusion.
"Right now, I'm life coaching a lot of people that are in the NBA. I can't say [who]. But I coach a couple players," he said. "But it's not a thing where I'm going to hide and be that perfect mentor. I just give them the best advice I can and live my life accordingly. I'm doing that now and one day I would love to coach."
The Lakers finished with the league's third-worst record at 26-56 as it attempts to turn the corner in the rebuild. There isn't much room for an aging veteran as part of a youth movement.
That said, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Los Angeles bring the former defensive stalwart back in a new role that could eventually lead to a coaching gig if he decides to retire from on-court competition.
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