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Metta World Peace won’t opt out of final season of Lakers deal

Lakers forward Metta World Peace doesn't intend to opt out of the final season of his $7.7 million contract.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Metta World Peace has decided to stick with the Lakers. Now, will the Lakers stick with Metta World Peace?

According to a team spokesman and World Peace’s agent, Marc Cornstein, the veteran forward Tuesday said he intends not to opt out of the final season of his contract worth $7.7 million.

The Lakers still have their one-time amnesty to cut a player, a decision to be made from July 10 to July 16. According to the NBA’s 2011 collective bargaining agreement, an amnesty player still receives his salary but it falls off a team’s salary-cap and luxury-tax computations.

If the Lakers are able to keep free-agent center Dwight Howard at $20.5 million for next season while maintaining the same $100-million payroll they had last season, removing World Peace from the equation via amnesty could save the Lakers about $24 million in tax. The 33-year-old forward averaged 12.4 points per game last season.

The Lakers have limited options when it comes to replacing World Peace, should they let him go — but economics may push the team into a difficult decision.

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This summer represents the Lakers’ last opportunity to use their amnesty provision; eligible players include Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Blake and World Peace.

As written in his contract, the deadline for World Peace to opt out of his deal was 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

sports@latimes.com


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