The Los Angeles Lakers made a decision to stick with Metta World Peace as they finalized their 15-man roster, cutting ties with Jabari Brown in a decision that Bryon Scott called one of the toughest he's had to make. The plan going forward is for World Peace to also begin a "long-term" transition to become an assistant coach with the team, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.
World Peace has been careful not to commit to what his plans would be if he didn't make the final roster, typically deferring to focusing on the present and trying to help the franchise win now. His inclusion on the roster comes as no surprise, even if it was at the cost of a player they could have continued developing. The Lakers only need spot minutes at small forward from an on-court perspective, and Metta has been a key voice leading the young core. His influence on Randle has been widely publicized and alone could be worth the investment from the Lakers.
Baxter Holmes of ESPN also shared this quote from World Peace in his first scrum with media since making the final roster, which seems less definitive about his path to becoming a coach:
World Peace said he might transition into coaching after his NBA career.
"It would be fun," he said. "I mean, who wouldn't want to be a coach? It's a great life."
The Lakers are bringing Metta along for the ride, which could also serve as valuable on the job training as he helps develop the Lakers' young core if both agree that's the direction they want things to head. It's also worth noting World Peace's salary is non-guaranteed until Jan. 1, 2016, so the Lakers' roster flexibility is still intact. The price is small to keep a player who can make an impact in player development while providing end-of-the-bench minutes at a position they need depth at. That he can be Mentor World Peace while the team tries to provide a stable culture around the youth is the real prize for Los Angeles.
Brown, meanwhile, is not expected to return to the D-League if he doesn't land on an NBA roster. His plan is to play overseas if no team takes a flyer on him, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times.