The Lakers have considered bringing back a player that helped deliver them their last NBA championship.
Metta World Peace and the Lakers have had a “couple conversations” about the former Ron Artest returning to the team, according to a league source familiar with the situation. The source added that both sides have not reached any agreement regarding a deal with the 35-year-old World Peace and that nothing is imminent.
World Peace has trained extensively this offseason at the Lakers’ practice facility as well as in pickup games at the Drew League. During his visits with the Lakers’ facility, World Peace has worked out extensively with 2014 first-round pick Julius Randle.
The Lakers waived World Peace using the amnesty provision in the 2013 offseason. After the New York Knicks bought out his contract during the 2013-14 season, World Peace has since played professionally in China and Italy. But World Peace’s potential return to the Lakers could fill a few areas of need.
The Lakers are thin at the small forward position. World Peace’s presence would bolster a defensive unit that ranked 29th out of 30 NBA teams in total defense (105.3), defensive field-goal percentage (46.6) and 26th in fast-break points allowed (15.1). World Peace also represents the lone member along with Bryant of the Lakers’ 2010 NBA championship team, a role World Peace largely influenced in a Game 7 win over the Boston Celtics.