Metta World Peace will be back in the purple and gold on a one year non-guaranteed deal with the LA Lakers. The 36 year old forward - and former St. John’s standout as Ron Artest - will be returning to provide leadership for a developing roster.
Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and the number two overall draft pick, Brandon Ingram - all whom are under the age of 25 - have done little winning in their short time in the NBA. The re-signing of Metta World Peace can do nothing but help their progress.
After posting just 5.1 points per game on 31.1 percent shooting in only 35 games, it’s clear that World Peace has been brought back for a 6th year in the purple and gold to serve a mental and cerebral role.
The former defensive player of the year was seen as a mentor to young power forward Randle during the 2015-2016 season. In a season that had a few bright spots, seeing the maturation and development of Randle was a positive sight in a 17-65 regular season.
With the departure of Kobe Bryant, one of the most iconic players in its organizations history, the Los Angeles Lakers did not only lose a piece of its identity, they also lost a veteran presence in a developing the locker room.
The resigning of World Peace will help the transition for rookie head coach Luke Walton since he will have a familiar face in the locker room as the two were teammates with the Lakers during their championship run in 2010. Walton, who just came off of a record breaking season as an assistant with the Golden State Warriors, was hired by the Lakers on April 29th.
It is not clear whether the Lakers will keep World Peace when they must trim the current roster from 19 to 15 in late October. However, this is definitely a positive sign for a team that lacks leadership and a winning mentality.