The Lakers declined to use their “amnesty” provision before Tuesday’s deadline, meaning Metta World Peace can keep partying.
The team could have waived him without having to pay luxury taxes on his salary, though the Lakers decided against it. World Peace, 32, has two more years and $15 million left on his contract.
As per terms of the new collective-bargaining agreement, teams were allowed to cut one player who was on their roster last summer. Teams would still have to pay that player his salary but his number would not count against their cap.
The Lakers still have the right to use the amnesty provision next summer. Eligible players include Kobe Bryant, who will have one more year and $30.5 million left on his contract next July, Pau Gasol ($19.3 million in 2013-14), World Peace ($7.7 million) and Steve Blake ($4 million).
The Lakers could not have used the amnesty provision to waive a player acquired in a trade. The NBA installed today’s deadline to allow waived players plenty of time to find a new team.
World Peace has been plenty social during the off-season, usually providing updates hourly, if not more often, via Twitter. He has vacationed in Vancouver, hung out at various nightclubs and also found time for a family get-together in Las Vegas, according to his updates. He also visited patients at UCLA Health System on Tuesday.
He averaged a career-low 7.7 points last season and was suspended for seven games for elbowing Oklahoma City guard James Harden in the head. World Peace had one memorable run toward the end of the regular season where he averaged 16.3 points while Bryant missed seven games because of a shin injury.
World Peace also claimed to be fully recovered from a back injury that caused numbness in his legs the previous season.