Metta World Peace has signed a contract with Italy’s Pallacanestro Cantù for the remainder of the season, the team announced (Twitter link). The former Ron Artest’s brother, Daniel Artest, said this weekend that the 15-year NBA veteran would sign with the team, though Cantù’s coach wouldn’t confirm the news, saying only that the club was in talks with World Peace. The 35-year-old forward hooked up with Octagon Europe and agent Georgios Dimitropulos to facilitate the deal, as Dimitropulos tweets (hat tip to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).
It’s the second overseas excursion this season for World Peace, who played 15 games with China’s Sichuan Blue Whales after signing with the team in August. He had reportedly been seeking deals with the Knicks, Lakers and Clippers over the summer, and while the Knicks apparently considered the possibility, no deal materialized, and World Peace made it clear once the season started that he no longer wanted to play for the Knicks or the Lakers. There appeared to be some level of interest from the Clippers in a late-season deal, but coach/executive Doc Rivers downplayed that, and now it appears World Peace is off the table.
World Peace put up 19.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in 28.6 minutes per game in China this year after a season of career lows in New York that ended shortly before former coach Phil Jackson took over as team president. The 2003/04 Defensive Player of the Year regretted buying out his contract before the Zen Master arrived in New York, but a reunion never came to pass. A four-year tenure with the Lakers ended in 2013 when the team used the amnesty clause to waive him.