MONDAY, 7:55am: World Peace took to Twitter to confirm the deal, posting a photo of what appears to be him next to Blue Whales officials, set to put pen to paper on a contract.
FRIDAY, 10:01am: Multiple sources tell David Pick of Eurobasket.com that World Peace’s contract will only be worth $700K (Twitter link).
THURSDAY, 2:40pm: The deal is worth $1.43MM, according to Shams Charania of RealGM. It’s indeed for just one season, and World Peace will look for work in the NBA once it’s done, Charania hears (Twitter links).
11:18am: Free agent forward Metta World Peace has an agreement in principle with the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association, the team’s GM confirms to Sina.com (hat tip to Sportando’s Enea Trapani). It’s a $1.3MM arrangement, according to Trapani. Presumably it covers one season. Ian Begley of ESPN.com wrote earlier this week that the sides had been close to a deal.
The Knicks had been thinking about giving World Peace an invitation to training camp, and the 34-year-old has expressed regret about buying out his contract with New York last season before the team hired Phil Jackson as president. The Marc Cornstein client had also been eyeing the Lakers and the Clippers, but it didn’t seem like those teams reciprocated that interest.
The deal with Sichuan will give him slightly less than the $1,448,490 he would have made on a veteran’s minimum deal with an NBA team, but his Chinese salary appears to be guaranteed. Going to China will also probably give World Peace the chance to return to the NBA for the stretch run, since China’s season ends as early as February.
World Peace put up career lows in several categories thanks to a drastic cut in minutes this past season. He averaged just 13.4 minutes per game compared to 33.7 in 2012/13, which helps to explain why he engineered the buyout.