Ron Artest

Although he reiterated time and again he choice to remain a Laker, Metta World Peace stayed non-committal on whether he will exercise his $7.7 million player option to return next season.

“It’s really not important to me right now,” World Peace said. “What’s important is next year coming back and starting off the right way and building some consistency early. That’s the only thing on my mind right now. Not contracts or anything like that.”

World Peace isn’t necessarily sending out conflicting messages. Marc Cornstein, World Peace’s agent, told this newspaper that he could opt out in hopes of seeking a long-term extension. Either decision carries a certain amount of risk. Should World Peace exercise his player option, the Lakers could waive him using the one-time amnesty provision in hopes of clearing space within their current $100 million payroll. Should World Peace opt out, there’s a chance the Lakers wouldn’t resign him for the same reason.

– Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Blog)