Metta World Peace signs 2-year deal with Knicks
As it turns out, World Peace had a meeting with the New York Knicks on Monday. When the meeting concluded, World Peace said that he would meet with other teams, and even discuss with Yao Ming the possibility of playing in China. However, it appears that the man formerly known as Ron Artest was just trying to keep anticipation at a high level.
World Peace has signed a two-year deal with the New York Knicks, according to Ian Begley of ESPN New York. The exact salary is not yet known (UPDATE: Deal is worth $1.6 million per year - Knicks used remainder of mini mid-level exception to sign World Peace). The first year of the deal is guaranteed, with the second year being an option, though it is unknown whether it is a team or player option.
World Peace was amnestied by the Los Angeles Lakers a few days ago and cleared waivers thanks to a lofty salary worth about $7.7 million. Despite self-generated rumors of retirement, a career in hockey, coaching Arena Football, and a transition to the Chinese Basketball Association, realists generally considered the Knicks the favorites to land MWP all along.
Born and raised in Queens while also having played two years of college ball at St. John's, World Peace will bring his playing career full circle by ending up with the Knicks at the age of 33 (he'll turn 34 at the beginning of the regular season).
The Knicks could certainly use a player like World Peace, who brings a unique toughness and tenacity to the court. He could potentially have a similar impact to what Kenyon Martin brought to the table last season as a gritty, hard-nosed player on defense, and a role-playing hard worker on offense.
MWP can also stretch the floor, having shot 34.2% from behind the arc last season. He averaged 12.4 points and 5.0 rebounds last year, both of which are his highest averages since his age-29 season with the Houston Rockets.
World Peace will likely come off the bench as Carmelo Anthony's backup at small forward. He could also see significant minutes alongside Anthony, who had great success playing some power forward last season.