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Metta World Peace to opt-in to his $7.7 million contract, Lakers to amnesty him?

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Metta World Peace may have played his last game as a Laker.

MWP has an early termination option in his contract this off-season. If Metta doesn’t take it, he’ll be on the Lakers’ books for $7.7 million next season which could cause him to get amnestied by the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to Larry Coon, Metta won’t opt-out of his contract and therefore he could be an amnesty candidate this summer:

[pullquote]Q: What if Metta World Peace takes his opt-out and becomes a free agent?

A: Then the Lakers save about $7.7 million, and the financial objections I raised become less of a problem. But from what I hear, even though Metta raised the possibility of opting-out, it isn’t going to happen. I’d be shocked if it did.[/pullquote]

If Metta wants to stay with the Lakers, his best bet is to opt-out of his $7.7 million deal and re-sign for less. This was something he hinted at earlier in the year, but he later back-tracked on those comments, possibly due to a quick phone call from his agent.

If MWP decides not to use his opt-out clause and he stays on the books, the Lakers would likely amnesty him. They’d still have to pay him the $7.7 million owed – unless a team claims him off waivers – but his salary wouldn’t count against the luxury tax, meaning the Lakers would end up saving about $30 million according to Coon. That’s quite a significant saving.

Amnestying Metta would mean the Lakers would need to find a new starting small forward, either via trade or free agency. Could they re-sign Earl Clark and play him at the 3? It’s a possibility, and that would also allow Jordan Hill to get a fair amount of minutes off the bench, too.

It should be noted that if the Lakers amnesty MWP, they wouldn’t be able to re-sign him to a smaller deal so he can stay in town: the Lakers would have to wait until July 2014 to re-sign Metta, by which time they’ll likely have bigger fish to fry.

But, for now, Metta’s still a Laker. We’ll see where we stand in July…

H/T Lakers Nation

About Ross Pickering

Ross Pickering is the founder of Lakerholicz.com. He's here to bring you daily updates on your Los Angeles Lakers, despite living 5,485 miles away from L.A. in Eastbourne, England.

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