World Peace Comes to Knicks After Lakers Buyout, Yahoo! Reports

Free-agent forward Metta World Peace agreed on a two-year, $3.2 million contract with the New York Knicks, Yahoo Sports reported today, citing an unidentified person familiar with the negotiations.

The 33-year-old World Peace, who used to be known as Ron Artest, averaged 12.4 points and five rebounds in 75 games last season with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was bought out by the team last week under the National Basketball Association’s amnesty clause, which absolves them of paying a luxury tax on the package, and cleared waivers yesterday.

World Peace said in a text message that no new deal had been finished, according to Twitter posts from USA Today and the New York Post. Knicks spokesman Jonathan Supranowitz didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the Yahoo report, which said that World Peace was publicly insisting he’s considering other options.

World Peace has averaged 14.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals in his 14-year career with the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets and Lakers. He was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2004, when he also played in his only All-Star Game.

A native of Queens, New York, he played at St. John’s University from 1997 to 1999.

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