While Metta World Peace may just now be realizing that Dwight Howard officially signed with the Houston Rockets, he is getting the hint rather clearly that the Los Angeles Lakers want him out. As reported by NBA sources, the Lakers are going to exercise their amnesty clause on MWP to eliminate his contracts from the books entirely in an effort to get under the luxury tax issue surround the team. As a result, MWP is considering his of teams he would like to join in the future. First up is the New York Knicks.
MWP has not officially been cut out of the Lakers just yet. If Kobe Bryant has his way, the small forward stays with the team for another season, finishing out his contract. However, things are not looking good and MWP is focusing on other options. ESPNNewYork.com reports that the Knicks are his first choice of teams to sign with. Jose Morale, a longtime friend of MWP, said if dropped by the Lakers, "he might want to retire." MWP is not interested in playing for a small market according to Morales, leaving his options limited. Morales also mention the Los Angeles Clippers as an option, but the Knicks are his first choice.
When/if MWP is amnestied, he will go on the waiver wire where teams can bid and pick him up for a portion of his salary. There is a chance that a team like the Charlotte Bobcats or the Phoenix Suns picks him up, forcing MWP to make some decisions. If MWP clears waivers, he then becomes an unrestricted free agent.
The Knicks have little to no money to work with when it comes to offering MWP a new deal. If he is dead set on joining, the team could offer him the veteran minimum or some kind of mid-level deal of $3.2 million. If the Knicks can bring him on, MWP would be an ideal candidate to start alongside Carmelo Anthony at forward. He would be a good wing player the team has been looking for that can stretch the floor and handle 3-point shooting. MWP is the best candidate.
All in all, MWP does not want to leave the Lakers, make retirement seem likely. Bryant came to his defense, expressing his displeasure over the idea that MWP is gone for good. The team is reportedly still considering their options and there is a small chance that MWP stays. Time will tell.