Less than a week after the Lakers waived him through the amnesty provision, Metta World Peace has joined the New York Knicks on a two-year, $3.2 million contract, according to a source familiar with the situation.
The second year is a team option, the source said.
World Peace and his agents met with Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald and coach Mike Woodson on Monday in Las Vegas, according to a source. World Peace’s arrival with the Knicks brings his hometown roots full circle. The former Ron Artest grew up in the Queensbridge section of New York and played at St. John’s University. His presence should give the Knicks added toughness, particularly on defense.
“It’s all about the chemisty at the end of the day,” World Peace said on NBA TV. “The role is to do what’s right and do what you’re supposed to do. When you give yourself a role, you start thinking too much.”
The Lakers waived World Peace last week through the one-time amnesty provision, a cost-cutting move that will save them about $15 million in luxury taxes. Though the Lakers still owe World Peace his $7.7 million salary, the figure doesn’t equate into player payroll and luxury tax penalties.
World Peace, 33, averaged 12.8 points on 40.5 percent shooting, his highest scoring output in four seasons with the Lakers. He also appeared in better shape than in recent seasons, entering training camp weighing 245 pounds at 6 percent body fat. But he remained limited when he returned 12 days after having surgery to treat torn cartilage on his left knee. World Peace averaged only six points a game and shot 25 percent in the playoffs.
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org