It’s hard to believe Metta World Peace won’t end up playing for the New York Knicks, but there’s still a chance he’ll pull off something unpredictable, which at the moment seems giving up on the NBA and moving to China and play for Yao Ming’s team.
After getting amnestied by the Los Angeles Lakers, money isn’t really the problem. World Peace will make $7.7 million next season, with any NBA team that picks him up giving him a veteran’s minimum, while the Lakers make up the rest to reach the salary they took off their books for this season.
Yet despite reaching an agreement with the Knicks that puts him on a two year deal with a player option for his second season, better than what most NBA teams would have given him, it’s not official yet. Metta World Peace has been mentioning he’s still talking to other people, but in all likelihood these aren’t the Los Angeles Clippers, who probably won’t be able to give him the kind of role the Knicks can.
So China? He won’t be making more money there, but maybe the clock on his NBA career has run out. World Peace isn’t planning on retiring, so why should the China option be taken seriously? With a person as unpredictable as World Peace, you never can tell.
His assumed addition to the Knicks is great for the Eastern Conference. He won’t start for the Knicks, unless they’re going to continue with Carmelo Anthony at the 4, but he will bring some defensive toughness the Knicks struggled to bring on the perimeter last season, ranking 17th in points allowed per possession last season. Teaming up with Iman Shumpert on the wing, while having Tyson Chandler behind them in the paint, gives the Knicks an improved defensive look.
Good enough to be considered as contenders in the East? Too soon to tell, probably not, but they’ll certainly give the Pacers, Nets and Bulls quite an interesting fight in their chase to dethrone the Miami Heat.