Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 7/8/13
LOS ANGELES Metta World Peace may not be worth the 7.7 million he's due in salary next season. Hes certainly not worth the 19 million payout, including luxury taxes, that keeping him on the books in Los Angeles necessitates. It's simple math. Theres no reason for the Lakers not to use their amnesty provision, which wipes the 33-year-old forwards salary off the teams cap concerns despite the fact that the team will still owe World Peace the 7.7 million hes due. The Lakers currently have four players eligible for the amnesty, which they must use this season: Kobe Bryant, Steve Blake, Pau Gasol and World Peace. Although it would make the most sense to use the provision on Bryant and the 30.5 million he's due next season, the Lakers simply will not do so. (It would, however, save them all of their luxury tax bills.) Blake is indispensable with Bryants injury, so he wont be amnestied, and without Dwight Howard, Gasol is a crucial piece. Which leaves World Peace. His is an expiring deal, and hes long past his prime, having posted relatively mediocre numbers since coming to the Lakers from Houston in 2009. Sure, he started for them last season, which means the Lakers would have to draw from their nonexistent batch of qualified reserves to replace him, but at this point, so what? At this point, what is next season besides an opportunity to tank and regroup later? With the way the tax is structured, the Lakers will likely have to pay 1.50 for every dollar they are over the cap if they keep World Peace; hence the 19 million payout. With the rate of the tax becoming incremental this season, its going to become ever more punitive for teams to pay it, and the amount of money it would take to keep World Peace on a team that doesnt need his services is downright nonsensical. That's not to say he wont be picked up elsewhere. He would be available to be claimed off waivers if amnestied, and if he were, the Lakers would only have to pay the difference between his new salary and what they owe him. If he were to clear waivers, though, which he likely would, theyd be on the hook for the whole contract. The team has from July 10-16 to use the provision, after which point World Peace will be trade bait at best and a financial albatross at worst. Its hard to think the Lakers could get much for his expiring contract likely not even a future first-round pick, which might actually help them rebuild and so at this point, the amnesty looks like nothing more than simple logic.
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