Metta World Peace staying with Lakers

Metta World Peace

Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace will not opt out of his contract with the team, according to Sam Amick of USA Today Sports.

According to Amick’s sources, World Peace will play out the final year of his contract that will pay him $7.7 million rather than exercise his early termination option.

World Peace had until Tuesday to make his decision.

Now the Lakers will have to decide whether they want the small forward on the team for the 2013-14 season, or use their one-time amnesty clause.  The Lakers will still have to pay World Peace’s full salary if they decide to use the amnesty provision, but his contract would not count against the team’s salary-cap figure.  Using the provision would save the Lakers close to $30 million in luxury taxes.

Teams must inform the NBA of their plans to amnesty a player during a small window from July 10-16.  The amnesty option can only be used on players that signed before the new collective bargaining agreement in December 2011.  Meaning other than World Peace, the only amnesty options for the Lakers would be Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol or Steve Blake.

The 33-year-old World Peace averaged 12.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last season.

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