Source: Knicks contact World Peace

Updated: July 15, 2013, 2:11 PM ET
By Chris Broussard | ESPN The Magazine

Metta World Peace wants to play for the New York Knicks, according to a person close to the veteran small forward.

World Peace cleared waivers late Sunday afternoon, making him an unrestricted free agent. A source told ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst that the Knicks, who can offer him part of their taxpayer mid-level exception (roughly $1.7 million), already have reached out to the former Los Angeles Laker.

While the Knicks are World Peace's first choice, he is also holding onto the Los Angeles Clippers and China's Shanghai Sharks as possible teams to join next season.

"Of course I'm interested in Clippers," World Peace texted to the Los Angeles Times. "I have to meet them first."

World Peace spoke Sunday with Yao Ming about playing in Shanghai, a source said.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Sunday that he welcomed the potential addition of World Peace.

"I know his name has been surfacing out there," Woodson said in Las Vegas, where New York has a summer league team competing. "I can coach any player. I coached guys from 18-, 19-, 20-year-old young men, and built a team in Atlanta, and that's tough for a first-time coach. So I experienced that, and I don't think there's a player I can't coach if he's willing to be coached. ... If anybody comes to this team, they've got to understand it's all about team, man. It's not about individuals here, it's not about me as a coach. It's about the New York franchise trying to win an NBA title. If you understand that, then we've got a chance.

"I like his skill sets a lot. I think a lot of teams have liked his skill sets over the years. He does a little bit of everything."

The Lakers waived World Peace via the amnesty provision on Thursday. The following day, he said he was hoping no team claimed him off waivers and that he didn't have any interest in playing in the NBA next season.

"I don't really want to play for anybody," World Peace said. "I don't want to go anywhere. I want to go to China, or coach or play arena football."

At the time, World Peace also said he had no desire to play in New York, his hometown.

"I had a chance to play in New York [in the past]," he said. "I wanted to play in New York when I was in my prime and I was young, fierce, lock-down [defender]. Madison Square Garden, that would have been sick. But right now, China is way more adventurous for me."

The 14-year veteran is coming off a resurgent season in which he averaged 12.4 points (up from 7.7 in 2011-12) and 5.0 rebounds (up from 3.4) and improved his shooting percentages from the floor, the 3-point line and the foul line.

Information from ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst, ESPNNewYork.com's Jared Zwerling and ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin was used in this report.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

EDITORS' PICKS

ALSO SEE