With the San Antonio Spurs’ roster about to be filled with 14 players once contracts are signed, there’s still one vacant spot remaining. It’s no secret the Spurs are thin at the small forward position with just Kawhi Leonard manning the position. However, now it seems if Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace is amnestied by the Lakers as has been reported, the Spurs are one team he would like to play with according to Sam Amick of USA Today.
According to a person with knowledge of World Peace's situation, the list of teams that he would most like to play for starts with the New York Knicks and is followed in order by the Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and the Indiana Pacers.
Tuesday a report was released revealing that the Spurs tried to put together a sign-and-trade package with the Minnesota Timberwolves for free agent Andrei Kirilenko. According to the report, a potential deal fell through.
The Spurs have been rumored in the past to have interest in World Peace when he went by the name of Ron Artest. Going back to February 2008, the Spurs almost traded for Artest when he was with the Sacramento Kings.
Last season in 75 games with the Lakers, World Peace averaged 12.4 points, 5 rebounds, 1.6 steals, shot 40% from the field, and 34% from three in 33.7 minutes per game. World Peace is no longer the elite defender he once was or the scorer who once averaged close to 21 points per game one season, but he’s still a solid defender and can contribute on offense. If he played with a team like San Antonio, who would only need 10-15 minutes from him per game, he’d most likely be a strong contributor off of the bench.
If Amnestied in the next seven days, the Lakers will buy the rest of the $7,727,280 owed to World Peace, which would open some cap room for their team. However, since World Peace would be an amnesty candidate, there’s a different process he would have to go through before he could choose his own destination.
A player waived under the amnesty clause must go through the waiver process, which lasts 48 hours. During that time, a team can claim an amnestied player by making a full waiver claim and assuming the player's full contract. If no full waiver claims are submitted, partial waiver claims allow teams that have room under the salary cap to bid on the player and acquire him at a reduced rate. The team with the highest bid is awarded the player. If multiple teams bid the same amount, the team with the worst record is awarded the player.
A source close to World Peace indicated Tuesday that if he was taken off waivers by a team that isn’t on his preferred list, there’s a chance he could look at retiring. If World Peace had his choice, well it’s clear the Spurs are second to last on his list.
(Hat-Tip: Air Alamo)