The Lakers were patiently waiting to make offseason moves until Dwight Howard made his decision of where to sign in free agency. Now that Howard has chosen to play in Houston for the near future, the Lakers will be using their Plan B to create a competitive roster.
The Lakers still have their one-time use of the amnesty provision given to every NBA team after the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) became official. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Blake and Metta World Peace, who opted-in to his contract recently, are the only players on the Lakers’ roster that can be amnestied.
It has been the general consensus that Metta would be the victim to get amnestied this year as the Lakers are trying to cut cost and doing so would save the Lakers up to a reported $30 million in luxury taxes.
However, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Mike Bresnahan, that may no longer be the Lakers’ plan:
…the Lakers are leaning toward keeping Metta World Peace instead of waiving him under the one-time amnesty provision, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The Lakers are very limited of how much they can offer free agents this offseason as they only have the mini mid-level exception and the veteran minimum contract to offer. It has been reported that the Lakers have interest in Elton Brand and have reached out to Lamar Odom to possibly reunite with his former team.
NBA teams that have their amnesty provision still intact, like the Lakers, can use it, if they choose to do so, during the period of July 10-16. The Lakers will not amnesty Kobe, and it was reported that Pau will not get amnestied as well with the departure of Howard. Blake has the lowest contract of the amnesty qualified players, so it is unlikely he will get the axe.
Therefore, fans will most likely have to wait a few more days to know the certainty of Metta World Peace’s future as a Laker.
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