The Los Angeles Lakers have officially cut down their roster to 15 players after parting ways with Yi Jianlian and Anthony Brown on Monday. Veteran forward Metta World Peace was one of the players on the roster bubble able to remain on the squad after many believed he’d be released by the deadline.
After Monday’s practice at the team’s facility in El Segundo, head coach Luke Walton talked about why the Lakers chose to keep World Peace on the roster, via Lakers Twitter account:
Luke Walton on Metta World Peace: "He gives us an edge and a toughness."
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 24, 2016
Last week, a report surfaced about the Lakers being willing to offer World Peace a spot on Walton’s coaching staff. World Peace has expressed interest in going into coaching once his playing days are over, but wants to continue playing for another three years before that transition.
Although World Peace wasn’t interested in joining the coaching staff at this point in his career, the Lakers brass felt as if his impact is invaluable to the team. World Peace brings championship experience as well as a respected voice in the locker room that this team and a first-year head coach need to help right the ship in Los Angeles.
Along with World Peace, Thomas Robinson was able to make the cut after making an impression on Walton and company during training camp and throughout the preseason.
With the roster now officially set at 15, the Lakers will look forward to their season opener against Houston Rockets on Oct. 26 at the Staples Center. After the season opener, the team will embark on a four-game road trip to face the Utah Jazz (Oct. 28), Oklahoma City Thunder (Oct. 30), Indiana Pacers (Nov. 1), and Atlanta Hawks (Nov. 2) before heading back to Staples on Nov. 4.