Metta World Peace could forgo his player option with Lakers

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace could decide not to pick up his player option and seek a less-expensive, long-term deal with the team as it looks to cut costs.

With the Los Angeles Lakers seeking financial relief this offseason and their amnesty provision from the 2011 collective bargaining agreement still unused, it's likely they'll be looking to chop hefty contracts.

And even though forward Metta World Peace has a player option for next season worth a healthy $7.7 million, there's a chance he forgoes it in order to work toward a long-term deal to stay in Los Angeles, according to NBA.com. Doing so would take away the opportunity for the Lakers to amnesty World Peace, who is 33 years old:

"I think my agent is trying to see if he can get an extension to stay here in L.A.," World Peace told NBA.com. "I'm really excited about the possibilities of staying here in L.A."

World Peace didn't tell NBA.com whether he'd be willing to take a paycut with the Lakers, but it's possible he'd be willing to have the value of his contract strung out over a longer period of time.

His comments and attitude make sense. The Lakers' total payroll, including luxury taxes, is around $129 million this season, according to the Los Angeles Times' Eric Pincus. For a team fighting for its playoff eligibility, it's unlikely the front office is keen on standing completely pat this offseason.

Pincus reports that the Lakers' total bill would cost $170 to $229 million next season if the current roster is retained.

And if World Peace doesn't pick up his option, Los Angeles can save money in that regard all while looking to use its amnesty provision elsewhere -- that's whether he's re-signed for less month or allowed to walk. Pau Gasol, Steve Blake and Kobe Bryant are the other three players who can be amnestied. The Lakers are unlikely to amnesty Bryant because of his stellar production this year, and Gasol at the least has a good amount of trade value.

The amnesty clause, part of the July 2011 CBA, allows an NBA team to once cut a player's contract completely off the books.

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