Lakers officially release Metta World Peace under amnesty provision

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Metta World Peace's time with the Los Angeles Lakers is officially done, as the former Defensive Player of the Year several key shots in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals has been amnestied.

We had a pretty good idea that the Los Angeles Lakers would amnesty Metta World Peace, but it's official: the small forward will be a free agent, and his $21.5 million in salary over the next three seasons will not count against the Lakers' cap.

The timing is likely connected to the Lakers' probable signing of Nick Young, who will be replacing some of World Peace's production as a tweener shooting guard/small forward.

The news had leaked a bit early the other day that the Lakers would part with the 33-year-old who averaged 12.4 points and 5.0 rebounds this past season. That made Kobe Bryant sad:

But with his status up in the air, World Peace had nothing to do but make Twitter jokes about his uncertain situation:

But Thursday, he confirmed that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak had talked to him.

World Peace will still make the money owed to him, including $7.7 million this next season, but he'll also be able to play elsewhere. Teams under the salary cap can place a claim on World Peace to pick up a portion of his salary, with the highest bid winning. If World Peace goes unclaimed, he'll become an unrestricted free agent.

The smaller the contract he signs, the more the Lakers have to pay. Although Artest is no longer the defensive player of the year and isn't capable of scoring 20 points per game anymore, teams may still want to bring in the 34-year-old on a veteran's minimum contract, as he could still be valuable as a defensive minded wing, possibly a backup.

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