Might the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat’s locker room be in need of a a little Metta World Peace?
BasketballInsiders.com reports the Heat appear to have interest in adding the fiery veteran forward to the mix as they prepare for the stretch-run in their quest to become the first NBA team in nearly two decades to record a championship three-peat.
After being waived by the Knicks earlier this week, the 34-year-old 15-year veteran has also attracted preliminary interest from the Thunder and the Clippers. However, several media outlets have reported the Heat appear to have the most interest in World Peace and, with the organization having lost out in its pursuit of fellow veteran Caron Butler (headed to Oklahoma City), that intrigue might have grown even more.
In 29 games with the Knicks this year, World Peace averaged five points and two rebounds in just over 13 minutes. Though all are career-low numbers, some still feel the grizzled veteran could provide valuable insurance for a playoff bound team. Throughout much of his career, World Peace was long regarded as one of the league’s better defenders.
No matter where he lands, it’s likely World Peace will have to sign a short-term, 10-day contract to prove that he can still be productive, much like what fellow veterans Kenyon Martin and Chris “Birdman” Andersen were required to do in recent seasons.
Over the course of his career, World Peace has averaged 14 points, five rebounds, and three assists. His best overall season came with Indiana in 2005-06, when he averaged 19 points, five rebounds, and two assists.
Playing alongside Kobe Bryant in 2010, World Peace was also instrumental in aiding the Lakers in capturing the team’s last NBA title. He netted 20 points in a Game 7 Finals win over Boston, including a game-clinching three-pointer that earned him then coach Phil Jackson’s raves as the game’s most valuable player.