Los Angeles Lakers, Metta World Peace Have Agreed On A One-Year Deal

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Metta World Peace to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract, according to Yahoo!. Last year the Lakers gave Peace a one-year deal worth $1.4 million, so it’s unlikely he’ll see any additional boost in salary. The 36-year old small forward will be reunited with former teammate, now head coach, Luke Walton, with whom he won two NBA titles while in a Lakers uniform.metta-world-peace

World Peace spent a season playing in China before returning to the NBA last season with the Lakers. During 2015, Peace appeared in 35 games, averaging 5.0 points and 2.5 rebounds, and averaging just 16.9 minutes a game.

Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, said after the signing that “I’m excited about everything. I’m prepared to help the young guys grow. To play, everything. Luke’s always been like a coach, even when he was playing”.   At the end of last season signs were pointing to Peace’s continuing desire to still play,saying “I still want to get in the playoffs again. I want to do a couple more years,” the Lakers forward said Tuesday. This year I didn’t play much so I kind of saved myself. I’m going to come back next year strong.”

Metta World Peace was drafted in 1999 by the Chicago Bulls out of St. John’s University where he helped the team reach the Sweet Sixteen before losing to Ohio State. After being traded by the Bulls in 2002 to the Indiana Pacers, Peace (Artest) was a core member of a 2003-2004 Pacers team that reached the Eastern Conference Finals and he was recognized as the NBA Defensive Player of the Year. The following season, he was suspended for 73 games as a result of his involvement in the Malice At The Palace, which saw multiple players from both the Detroit Pistons and Pacers facing league punishment.

Peace bounced back with Houston in 2008-2009, which helped him ultimately to land in Los Angeles with a lucrative free agent contract, where he made an average $6 million annually. It was there that Peace (Artest) shone brightest, helping lead the team achieve back to back NBA titles against the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics.

In 2014, then Ron Artest changed his name to “Metta World Peace” to honor the most famous animal of Sichuan Province and to reflect on the culture, during his move to play in China. During his 15 seasons as an NBA player, Peace has earned roughly $82 million. He’s averaged 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.8 steals in 33.0 minutes per game over his career.

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