After helping the Los Angeles Lakers win the 2010 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics, Metta World Peace returned to the storied franchise as a mentor to the young core of Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, and Julius Randle. While World Peace only appeared in 60 games over the last two seasons, he started his final game at the Staples Center and finished with 18 points and four rebounds against the New Orleans Pelicans.
With the 2016-17 NBA season officially over for the Lakers, World Peace revealed President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson informed him they are not going to bring him back next season during their exit meeting according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN:
Metta: "Magic said he’s not going to bring me back."
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) April 13, 2017
While the one-time champion may not be done with his playing career, he was thrilled to make the team this season according to Mike Trudell of Lakers:
MWP understands where Magic/Pelinka are coming from. Though he may not be done playing hoops, he was thrilled to make the team this year.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) April 13, 2017
Over the last two seasons, many have questioned World Peace’s place on the team’s roster. This past season, Lakers head coach Luke Walton and company kept him over their 2015 NBA Draft second round pick, Anthony Brown. However, the young core have praised World Peace’s presence in practices and in the locker room.
With Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka heading into a crucial offseason, it will be interesting to see which veterans they bring in to help continue developing their prospects. Although World Peace has done a lot for the storied franchise, the team is in need of players who can make an impact on the court.