Metta World Peace Won’t Opt Out

May 11 2013 at 3:47pm CST By Chuck Myron

Metta World Peace hasn't offered any public hints about whether he plans to exercise his early-termination option for next season, but Salary Cap FAQ author Larry Coon hears he intends to play out his contract with the Lakers. World Peace is due $7,727,280 in the final season of his five-year deal, and Coon would be "shocked" if he turned that down.

The news isn't unexpected, since World Peace might have trouble making half as much next season if he were to hit the open market. He could probably wrangle more guaranteed money as part of a long-term deal, but at 33 years old, few teams would be willing to give him a contract that stretched out for too long.

World Peace has shown durability and, this year, a remarkable capacity to recover from a late-season knee injury, but his on-court efficiency hasn't been the same since he signed with the Lakers four years ago. His career PER had been 16.5 during his first 10 seasons in the league, but his PER with L.A. is just 11.8. His number this year was slightly higher, at 12.5, as World Peace was tasked with more minutes and shots amid an injury-hit season for his Lakers teammates.

In his blog post, Coon counts World Peace among the Lakers' commitments for next season and ponders whether the team could sign both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, as Grantland's Bill Simmons suggested. Such a move would require the team to amnesty Kobe Bryant and trade Pau Gasol to the Rockets, and there's no reasonable scenario that would allow the Lakers to offer max contracts to both Howard and Paul, as Coon deduces.

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