With Metta World Peace exercising his $7.7 million player option to stay with the Lakers, his agent outlined the thought process as fairly simple.
“He really loves it in L.A. and is proud and excited to be a Laker,” Marc Cornstein said in a phone interview with this newspaper. “That was the biggest determining factor. He loves his time in Los Angeles and has always enjoyed his time in Los Angeles. He proved last season how dedicated and committed he is to the team. It was his strong desire to remain with the Lakers.”
Was there anything in particular that concerned World Peace and Cornstein about him opting out of his contract?
“I don’t think concerned would be the right word,” Cornstein said. “I think it was more from a positive standpoint. When you are a free agent or potential to be a free agent, typically players that are happy with their situation look for ways to stay and players that are not happy with their situation look for a way to leave and find a new home.”
Cornstein downplayed the Lakers’ public admission they’d like to maximize financial flexibility during the 2014 offseason. If Dwight Howard returns, he and Steve Nash would be the only ones under contract beyond next season. If World Peace had opted out, the Lakers may have just let him walk instead of signing him to a longer-term deal. “That’s up to the Lakers,” Cornstein said.
Lastly, Cornstein said he hasn’t received any indications on whether the Lakers would waive World Peace through amnesty provision at some point July 10-16.
“We haven’t covered that,” Cornstein said. “That’s something we’re obviously aware of and something the Lakers have to decide.”
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org