The Lakers waived small forward Metta World Peace, designating him as the team’s amnesty player Thursday. They also cleared salary-cap space by jettisoning his $7.7 million salary for next season.They still must pay his salary, but it doesn’t count against their books for salary-cap and luxury tax purposes. In all, it was reported the Lakers can gain upwards of $30 million in salary and luxury tax savings by dumping his contract. World Peace played four seasons with the Lakers and delivered a 20-point, five-rebound performance in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics that will go down in franchise lore.
“It’s tough to say goodbye to a player such as Metta, who has been a significant part of our team the past four seasons,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “For anyone who’s had the opportunity to get to know him, it’s impossible not to love him. He has made many contributions to this organization, both in his community work as well as in our games; perhaps no more so than in his clutch play in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals in helping to lead us over the Celtics in one of the great playoff wins in Lakers history. We thank Metta for all his contributions and wish him the best of luck in the future.”
World Peace wrote on Twitter: “Mitch called me first. Thanks.”
Other teams can bid on World Peace’s services. He must accept the highest bidder’s offer. It’s believed his preferred destination is the New York Knicks, but it’s not immediately clear if they have interest in the Queens, N.Y. native.