Metta World Peace says he will sign with the New York Knicks
World Peace, 33, told reporters Monday at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas that he was signing with the Knicks.
He cleared waivers Sunday after being let go in a cost-cutting move by the Lakers under the league’s amnesty provision Thursday,
Apparently the lure of playing near where he grew up in Queens, N.Y., was more than enough for World Peace to choose the Knicks over the Clippers, who were also interested in signing him.
But the most the Clippers could offer World Peace was the veteran’s minimum of $1.4 million.
The Knicks were reportedlyable to give him a portion of the “taxpayer” midlevel exception of $1.6 million for next season, with the Lakers picking up the remainder of World Peace’s $7.7-million salary.
Various reports said World Peace agreed to a two-year deal with the Knicks, with an opt-out clause after the first season.
“It’s all about the players,” World Peace told reporters about why he wanted to join the Knicks. “The team is amazing.
“It has nothing to do with New York, the city. The only thing that’s important is those players that I will be joining and touching the hardwood with. That’s important.”
After news of his deal, World Peace tweeted: “Where Brooklyn at?” in a dig at the Knicks’ rivals, the Nets.
World Peace joins a Knicks team, led by Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith, that won the Atlantic Division and made it to the second round of the playoffs last season. The Knicks also added forward/center Andrea Bargnani in a trade this month.
Meanwhile, the Clippers remain interested in free-agent forwards Lamar Odom and Antawn Jamison.
Jamison, who played for the Lakers last season, said he continues to be interested in playing for the Clippers.
Jamison, 37, had surgery on his right wrist at the end of April.
“I think they [the Clippers] had some concerns about my wrist,” Jamison said via text message. “But I told them I’ve been in the gym shooting and dribbling for the last two weeks.”
At 6 feet 9, Jamison is considered a “stretch four,” meaning he can make outside shots from the power forward position. Last season he averaged 9.4 points per game on 46.4% shooting, 36.1% from three-point range.
The most the Clippers could offer Jamison is $1.4 million.
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