Now that Metta World Peace has cleared amnesty waivers, the Clippers have some interest in speaking with the forward, said NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
But the Clippers are also aware that World Peace has interest in joining his hometown team, the New York Knicks.
The teams with salary cap room who were able to bid on World Peace all decided not to by Sunday’s 2 p.m. Pacific time deadline, allowing him to clear waivers and opening the door for him to negotiate with the team of his choice.
The most the Clippers can pay a player with World Peace’s experience level is $1.4 million.
He still will get the $7.7 million owed by the Lakers, who will save $15 million by keeping the salary off the books by avoiding hefty luxury taxes.
World Peace, 33, averaged a career-low 7.7 points during the 2011-12 season, but he improved under Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni’s system last season, averaging 12.4 points.
But World Peace suffered torn cartilage in his knee in March. He returned after only 12 days and was not as productive after that. He averaged just six points and shot 25% in the playoffs for the Lakers.
World Peace has played small forward most of his career, the position where the Clippers already have three players – Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes and rookie Reggie Bullock.
But at 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds, World Peace can play some power forward because of his strength, something he did for the Lakers at times last season.
And with NBA teams playing more small ball using a “stretch four [power forward]” – something the Clippers will do more of as well -- World Peace is versatile enough to fill that role.
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