It seems like a strange time for a buyout, but the New York Knicks are apparently cutting ties with two players this weekend. Earlier today, word of Metta World Peace‘s departure from the Knicks traveled around. His contract was a two0year deal worth approximately $1.6 million and included a player option for a third year. World Peace confirmed through Twitter that his agent is negotiating a buyout with the Knicks:
My agent just informed me this release could happen any hr now. I just want to say “Thanks for everything”
— Metta World Peace (@MettaWorldPeace) February 22, 2014
For a player who has had his share of controversy, he’s got a pretty good attitude about being out of a job. Last season, World Peace played in 75 games and scored 12.4 points per game while grabbing 5.0 rebounds per game. He’s now 34 years old and was thought to have something left in the tank, but just couldn’t produce when he was on the court this season. Maybe he needed more time to learn his role and gel with a new cast. I don’t think coach Mike Woodson put him in there as much as he could have, but at World Peace’s age, he needs to be efficient any chance he gets to play and he simply didn’t do that.
Point guard Beno Udrih hasn’t been happy with the team since December and began lobbying to be traded in early January. Udrih hasn’t played since Jan. 24 and it’s only been a matter of time before he’d be off the team. The Knicks tried getting something for him before the trade deadline to no avail. With the Knicks rumored to be negotiating with Udrih’s agent today, his veteran minimum contract of $1.27 million would be wiped off the books.
The Knicks are still currently negotiating buyouts with the agents of both players. I’d be surprised if both deals aren’t done in the next few hours. I mentioned that it was a strange time for these moves, but maybe it isn’t a bad time for them to start clearing cap room for next season. At least New York is finally showing initiative in improving this team. When World Peace and Udrih are gone, almost $3 million will be off the books. It is only a start in what will be a difficult offseason for New York Knicks management. There’s not much money for them to work with, but I guess every million counts.