- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Should the Knicks give Peace a chance?
Los Angeles Lakers
Teams with room under the salary cap have 48 hours to put in a claim on World Peace. If no team with cap space tries to claim World Peace, he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Knicks, according to a league source, will have interest in World Peace if he makes it through waivers.
World Peace, according to a league source familiar with his thinking, would welcome the opportunity to sign with the Knicks.
Both his father and a longtime friend, Jose Morales, have also been quoted as saying World Peace would like to return to New York. "Let's hope he'll be able to come home," World Peace's father, Ron Artest Sr., told ESPNNewYork.com's Jared Zwerling on Thursday night.
World Peace, a Queens product and ex-St. John's standout formerly known as Ron Artest, might be an attractive piece for a team with cap space, though.
World Peace averaged 12.4 points and five rebounds in 75 games for the Lakers last season.
If it claimed World Peace, a team with cap space would not owe him his entire $7.7 million salary. A claiming team would just owe World Peace the amount of its bid; the Lakers would be responsible for the remainder of World Peace's salary. Thanks to the amnesty clause, though, World Peace's salary does not count against the Lakers' salary cap.
If no team claims World Peace and he becomes an unrestricted free agent, the Knicks would not be able to offer him much money.
New York has $1.75 million left of its mini mid-level exception to offer free agents. It can also offer veteran's minimum contracts.
The Knicks have 10 players under contract, so general manager Glen Grunwald has a maximum of five roster spots to fill before the season starts. So they certainly have room for World Peace.
World Peace, though, has been known to be volatile at times (he played a major role in the infamous Pistons-Pacers brawl in 2004 that spilled into the stands). If World Peace clears waivers, the Knicks might consider that factor when they decide on whether or not to make an offer. But World Peace mostly stayed clear of major trouble in Los Angeles, where he won a title in 2010. World Peace also won the NBA's citizenship award in 2011 for his off-court contributions.
Question: Do you think the Knicks should try to sign Metta World Peace if he becomes an unrestricted free agent?
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