TUESDAY, 8:44am: The Blue Whales insist that they have no plans to waive World Peace, as the club announced via Sina Weibo (translation via Xiang Bin of China.org.cn). World Peace took to Twitter to relay that he’s undergone just a “simple procedure” but that the Blue Whales remain his only focus, and that he’ll turn his attention to the NBA after the season. He’ll be out for at least a week, Sichuan GM Geng Jie said, confirming that the team is bringing in a player from overseas to replace World Peace while he’s out, as Bin relays. Presumably, that’s Orton, but World Peace’s return would create a logjam, since the team can’t carry more than two healthy American players at once and American Mike Efevberha leads the team in points, rebounds, assists and blocks.
MONDAY, 2:57pm: Orton’s deal in China is guaranteed for the rest of the season, tweets Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops.
9:45am: Daniel Orton has signed with the Sichuan Blue Whales, who are set to let go of Metta World Peace, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. World Peace will only be sidelined for a short time after receiving a scheduled treatment on his knee, Charania hears, but apparently the Blue Whales have nonetheless elected to let go of the 35-year-old former Ron Artest. Orton had signed with China’s Shanxi Zhongyu in October, briefly after the Wizards released him, but the sides later parted ways at the end of what was only a temporary deal, Charania points out. Orton is receiving a “lucrative” deal with Sichuan, though the terms are unclear. There were conflicting reports about the value of World Peace’s one-year contract with the team, which was either $1.43MM, according to Charania, or $700K, as David Pick of Eurobasket.com heard.
Metta World Peace has said that he received offers from NBA teams before he signed with Sichuan in early August. He worked out at the Clippers facility this summer, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com pointed out last month when he followed up on a dispatch from World Peace’s brother indicating that the Clippers had interest in the 15-year NBA veteran. Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers didn’t give the impression that such was the case soon after the report surfaced, however. World Peace reportedly sought this summer to play for the Clippers, Lakers or Knicks, but he said in November that he’d “rather play in Angola” than join the struggling Lakers or Knicks, and he later pointed to conflict with Knicks swingman J.R. Smith as reason why New York didn’t ask him back this year. World Peace averaged 19.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in 28.4 minutes per game across 13 appearances for Sichuan, though he made only five starts.
Orton was the 29th overall pick in the 2010 draft, but he’s averaged only 10.6 minutes per game in just 51 NBA contests for his career. He played 22 games last season for the Sixers, who waived him in January, and later that month he wound up with the Celtics D-League affiliate, where he played in 24 contests.