The Lakers have had a busy offseason so far, and their work is not complete yet as there are still a couple of spots on the roster that need to be filled. After Dwight Howard left the team in free agency, the Lakers have been trying to overcome the challenge of creating a competitive roster with the financial limitations that currently face the team.
The new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) made way for a harsher luxury tax system, where incremental penalties and repeat offender taxes took the place of the customary $1 for $1 tax penalties that the Lakers and other NBA teams were accustomed to for going over the salary cap for a given season.
While the Lakers have been trying to decrease their cap and therefore tax penalties, they are also trying to clear their books as much as possible to create as much freedom as possible for the 2014 offseason, when there is expected to be a superstar-filled free agency class.
Every NBA team was also given a one-time amnesty provision under the new CBA, and this summer, the Lakers elected to use their amnesty to waive Metta World Peace, saving approximately $14 million for this upcoming season. We asked some of our Lakers Nation writers if amnestying Metta was the right move for the Lakers, and here is what they had to say:
Daniel Buerge (@danielbuergeLA): Ultimately, it seems like the Lakers made the right move financially. The team is obviously strapped for cash, and by taking Metta off their books, they save around $14 million in luxury tax costs.
Couple that with the reduced role that World Peace would have to play due to advanced age and decreased productivity, it seems to make sense for the Lakers to bring in a younger Nick Young or perhaps an unproven rookie to see if they can get something out of him.
So while the team will gladly thank Ron for the memories, this is probably an encouraging sign of moving towards the future.
Ross Gasmer (@Ross_Gasmer12): The Lakers are headed in a new direction as was evident after Dwight Howard left for Houston. They don’t want to sign players to multi-year deals ahead of the free agency bonanza in 2014 and don’t want to pay so much money for a mediocre team.
This is why I agree with management’s decision to amnesty Metta World Peace regardless of all the funny stuff he does on and off the court.
Being hit with a $29 million tax bill this past season for a team that went just 45-37, isn’t a good way of doing business, and I think Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak realized that.
Next summer, the plan is to sign two max players to help take the reigns of the franchise when Kobe Bryant retires.
Saving money this season as a precursor to all the money spent next year is a good move and while World Peace won’t be here to lighten the mood, he’ll always be a Laker to everyone.
Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner): With the Los Angeles Lakers saving $14.3 million and the team heading into another era, the front office was willing to part ways with Metta World Peace and ultimately it was the right decision.
Although World Peace is fan favorite and was arguably the anchor of the defense, the team paying the amount needed to keep him for one more year simply didn’t make sense.
World Peace’s impact over the last four years has been profound to say the least. Although parting ways with World Peace will take its toll, it’s time to move on, regardless of whether or not the veteran small forward has anything left in the tank.
There’s no question World Peace will be missed. Lakers fans loved the forward’s antics and presence on the floor, but it’s time to turn over a new leaf and $14.3 million is too much for team to invest in an aging player on his way out after next season even if he were retained.
World Peace’s absence will be felt immediately. Kobe Bryant lobbied for the team to keep him and literally no one wanted to see him go, but times have changed and we’ll wish him well in whatever crazy endeavor he takes on moving forward.
Elizabeth Benson (@gobibs): The Lakers are undergoing extreme changes right now. Dealing with the new luxury tax penalties seem to be superseding the fact that the Lakers’ top target in free agency choose to sign elsewhere. Therefore, Metta World Peace is a victim of the new CBA and the reality that the Lakers need to cut costs.
The amnestying of MWP is a business decision and not a basketball one in my opinion. Sometimes it is hard to remember that the Lakers, other teams and the NBA is a business as the fans get attached to specific players, and Metta was certainly one of those players.
There seems to be an overall goal for the Lakers to try to get under the cap somehow in order to avoid the harsh repeat offender penalty of the luxury tax system. Additionally, with the signing of the younger, more athletic Nick Young, it became apparent that amnestying Metta was the right move for the Lakers.
Metta World Peace will always be a Laker in the fans eyes, and his Game 7 three-pointer of the 2010 Finals along with his endless entertaining interviews, will always be remembered and celebrated by the fans.
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