Metta World Peace made the Lakers’ roster because talented second-year man (basically a rookie after his injury) Julius Randle bonded with him as a mentor. I could see that. Don’t love it, but can see it. World Peace is a former All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year who has tips he can pass along to young players, and he may get through to them in a way old coaches do not.
Basically, world Peace is a player/assistant coach. Down the line, the Lakers might look to remove the first part of that tag, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.
World Peace’s return to the Lakers includes a long-term plan to transition into an assistant coach for the franchise, league sources told Yahoo. He has been a mentor for several young Lakers players, including 2014 No. 7 overall pick Julius Randle.
If you’re going to do it eventually, why not do it now and use that roster spot on a young player who could develop into a rotation guy in three years?
If your argument is that players listen more to other players, I would argue that World Peace’s relationship with Randle and the other young Lakers’ players is already established after a summer of working out at their facility. They are not going to suddenly view him suspiciously if he’s got a new title — he’d still be Randle’s mentor. If your argument is the Lakers kept MWP over Jabari Brown because they didn’t think Brown will pan out, then cut him and get one of the many guys waived today around the league with potential.
The Lakers need to prove they can develop guys, and World Peace could be part of doing that — even if it’s a little hard to imagine. But he can do it regardless of his title.