With Monday being the deadline for NBA teams to announce their rosters, as the season begins Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers had some tough decisions to make.
It was earlier reported that the final roster spot was to be decided between Yi Jianlian, Thomas Robinson and Metta World Peace, but when Yi asked for his release recently due to his possible role with the team not being what he wanted, it appeared as if it was down to Robinson and World Peace for the last roster spots.
While many expected the spot to go to the much younger Robinson, and World Peace to possibly join the Lakers coaching staff after playing 17 professional seasons, the Lakers instead decided to keep both and waive second year guard Anthony Brown.
World Peace, who for the second consecutive season beat out younger players to earn the last roster spot, credited his hard work for making the team, via Shahan Ahmed of NBC LA:
Metta on making Lakers' roster: "I worked really hard." Said it didn't "magically appear"
— Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) October 24, 2016
Brown appeared in six games this preseason, averaging 3.2 points and 1.7 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game. As a rookie with the Lakers last season, Brown averaged 4.0 points and 2.4 rebounds in 29 games (11 starts), while also playing games with the team’s D-League affiliate the Los Angeles D-fenders.
World Peace’s role with the team this season will be similar to the role he played last season. More than his contributions on the court, World Peace is on the team to provide veteran leadership to the Lakers young core.
In 35 games last season World Peace averaged 5.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 16.9 minutes per game. The team is currently deep at small forward with veteran Luol Deng, rookie Brandon Ingram and the resurgence of Nick Young, so World Peace’s opportunities this season will likely be few and far between.