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Lakers Should Use Amnesty on Metta World Peace Reviewed by Momizat on . Now that the season is practically assured of happening (knock on wood) one of the big questions facing the Lakers will be which player to choose for amnesty, a Now that the season is practically assured of happening (knock on wood) one of the big questions facing the Lakers will be which player to choose for amnesty, a Rating:
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Lakers Should Use Amnesty on Metta World Peace

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Now that the season is practically assured of happening (knock on wood) one of the big questions facing the Lakers will be which player to choose for amnesty, a clause by which the club could release a player from it’s roster, avoid paying luxury tax penalties for said player and free up salary cap space all at the same time.

There are several conceivable candidates to exercise such an option on, from Luke Walton to Steve Blake to Metta World Peace. Yet when we analyze the situation a little closer, it becomes apparent that using the amnesty clause on World Peace clearly makes the most sense. But we before we dig in to the case for World Peace, let me offer this brief explanation of exactly what the amnesty clause actually is (via faniq.com).

What is amnesty?

  • Each team is permitted to waive one player and have 100% of the player’s salary removed for cap and tax purposes
  • Once a player is waived under the amnesty clause, they are placed in a modified waiver process available only to teams under the salary cap.
  • Teams with room under the cap can then submit a claim on players by bidding to pay a portion of the player’s previous salary.
  • Once part of a player’s salary is claimed by a new team, the old team will continue to pay the remaining amount (though it won’t count against the cap or tax).

Given that outline, the case for waiving World Peace through amnesty practically makes itself. Here’s the breakdown of why it should/will happen.

1. It saves the most money

As the lockout proved, the NBA is a dollars and sense league. If it costs too much money, it doesn’t make sense. In this case, it’s the critical three years remaining on World Peace’s contract that makes all the difference. The Lakers owe Metta three years and roughly $22 million. The first two years of that contract are bad enough, but consider that in year three the new luxury tax penalties kick in from the recently negotiated CBA. That means that instead of simply paying a dollar for dollar penalty, the Lakers would conceivably have to pay 3.25x World Peace’s contract. Basically, his $7 million could equate to $25 million in costs for Los Angeles. That’s way too steep a price to pay when his contract could be taken off the books before this season even starts.

2. Keeping Walton is better

But not for the reasons you might think. The two key factors why keeping Walton is a smarter move for the Lakers are that 1) He has only two more years on his contract so his price will never be inflated by the impending luxury tax hikes, and 2) He may retire anyway because of his lingering back issues. At worst, the Lakers keep a high IQ, good character guy on the team that plays unselfishly when called upon and can provide occasional spot minutes when the teams goes through an injury spell.
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3. More downside to keeping Metta

By contrast, while keeping Walton on the team is probably a neutral result, there is actually the risk of a meltdown by Metta World Peace that makes him much less desirable should he remain on the roster. Call it the crazy factor. Will Metta go nuts if he’s not getting enough touches? Will his brother call out Mike Brown on twitter? These are distractions the Lakers hardly need and jettisoning him to free agency not only saves the Lakers money, it also saves potential headaches.

4. He can be replaced

Though Metta’s skills as a one on one defender are well known, virtually every other aspect of his game is sub-par. From a strictly basketball point of view, he just isn’t worth the money. My personal choice to replace World Peace? Go after Shane Battier. And even if they can’t woo Battier to come to Los Angeles, signing a backup quality small forward at a cheap price and inserting Matt Barnes into the starting lineup would probably be an overall upgrade over having Artest in the fold

It’s going to happen

In the end, I think it makes entirely too much sense not to waive Artest for general manager Mitch Kupchak to ignore it. While fans will remember the player formally known as Ron Artest for his Finals heroics and his occasional antics, the truth is that waiving World Peace gives the Lakers the most net-benefit. Because of this, I feel it’s almost a certainty that Los Angeles will choose to exercise amnesty on Metta. So if you were thinking of buying a #15 jersey for the start of the season, you might want to hold off on that for a minute.

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About The Author

Brian is Director of Business Development for LakersNation.com and the creator of TouchdownLA. You can follow Brian on Twitter @bchampla.

Number of Entries : 70
  • http://www.lakersnation.com Joe

    Good, Since Artest has come to the lakers he’s been a downgrade from Trevor Ariza. Though Ariza wasn’t worth the price, the hornets paid for him. He’s been a better overall player than Artest (metta).

    The stupid name change is just more of what this kind of guy is. He’s a distraction, not the player he was, and isn’t worth what he’s getting paid. So long Metta World Peace.

  • http://www.foxhilldesign.com Josh

    I’ve never like Artest’s game, and I hope the Lakers cut ties with him as soon as possible–but not until I get a “World Peace” Lakers jersey! That is the one thing I have been looking forward to since he started talking about changing his name!

  • Betty

    I already have my #15 shirt and I will be a fan of Metta’s no matter what team he’s on, but I think he definitely should remain a Laker!

  • J.D.

    I think Like said that he is gonna retire. So maybe they can use Amnesty on another player. I’d keep Steve Blake. We have a new coach with a new system and he might excel in. Most people have a hard time with the triangle. Same with Artest, he might do better with the new system.

  • gus26

    i honestly think we don’t amnesty anyone… at least not at the begining of the season… we can wait to see who teams are going to cut and see if they want to trade the player instead…
    remember that luke was in trade rumors around the draft (lamar and luke for iggy from philly)
    keep in mind that teams that were waaaaay under the cap last year HAVE to spend 85% of the cap this year… what does that mean?… a team like sacramento might have no choice but to accept a trade of luke for a second round pick…

    yes its a small move but the alternative would be to pay walton to go away… luke for a 2nd round pick means not only do we get a 2nd round pick but also we don’t have to pay luke…

    same with artest… you’re crazy if you don’t think we can at least get a 2nd round pick for him… we also have otther tools to trade at our disposal… like the tpe from the sahsa to nj trade…

    opens up possibilities with teams who HAVE TO spend more money…
    take the kings… their current salaries total 30 million but to get to 85% of the cap they have to spend 57.8 thats 27 million they have to spend…

    we could feasably still aquire baron davis only with a trade something like artest and luke… i’m not saying we SHOULD i’m jus saying if there are different ways to go with this…

    also remember they have the life of the new cba to use the amnesty (at a minimum 6 yrs)… what if, god forbid, gasol goes down for the year and his career is derailed… thats a huge chunk of money we could automatically clear in the worst case scenario that we had to amnesty him…

    worst case we wait 2 yrs and use the amnesty right before we have to pay that ridiculous new tax on artest then…

    above all remember this is the lakers… super smart business people… same team that traded for gasol… but the thing to remember about that is they signed aron mckie to make salaries work…

    think outside the bos people… the lakers won’t just cut someone… thats too easy…

  • mitun

    guess you don’t remember when ron artest saved our asses in the 2010 finals eh..?

  • Vince

    I say keep Ron Artest, no need to use the amnesty clause, Luke should just be traded for more free tacos

  • http://eklablog.com/samsic ndiaye samuel joseph blaise

    The key is to make the right choice for the future of Lakers

  • http://this.com Rafael

    No way! He’s a great defender!!!! I like him as a laker! Your dumb! Trade Walton! He is horrible

  • Rick

    You guys are crazy Metta missed so many wide open 3′s it’s ridiculous. If it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t have needed a Finals saving shot. All I remember is Kobe driving to the hole kicks to a WIDE OPEN Metta only for him to brick it. Don’t get me started on his lay-ups

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