Metta World Peace will sign a $1.43 million contract on Thursday night with Sichuan of the Chinese Basketball Association, making him the league’s highest paid import player this season, sources told RealGM.
World Peace’s deal will be for one season, and he’ll search for a contract in the NBA once the Chinese season ends, sources said.
World Peace, 34, will be the most decorated NBA talent in China next season – a one-time champion, All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year in 15 mostly productive seasons. He had received a level of NBA interest before the overseas deal.
World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, had immense individual and team success in stops with the Indiana Pacers (2002-06) and Los Angeles Lakers (2009-13). He played in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2004, and the 6-foot-7 forward won an NBA title with the Lakers in 2010 when he filled the void of Trevor Ariza and made impact shots and defensive stands alongside Kobe Bryant.
After being released by the Lakers under the amnesty provision last summer, World Peace signed with the New York Knicks and averaged 4.8 points in 29 games in one year with his home team. World Peace went to high school in New York and played two collegiate seasons at St. John’s University.
World Peace averaged 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists over his NBA career with six different teams. He was the 19th overall draft selection of the Chicago Bulls in 1999.