Update: Metta World Peace's contract will be worth $1.43 million and he will become the CBA's highest-paid import player when he signs it on Thursday night, according to RealGM's Shams Charania.
Metta World Peace is off to China, according to ESPN's Ian Begley, who reported that the free agent forward is close to a deal with the Chinese Basketball Association's Sichuan Blue Whales. World Peace had dropped a pretty big hint that this was imminent on Twitter earlier:
One day til china ? I met with three teams. Wow. One team remaining . Meaning, deal is done. Just have to sign now. Almost there China!!!— mettaworldpeace.com (@MettaWorldPeace) July 29, 2014
Previous reports indicated that he wanted to return to the New York Knicks now that Phil Jackson is the president of the team. World Peace asked for a buyout when he was out of head coach Mike Woodson's rotation in February and got his wish. The Knicks reportedly discussed giving him a training-camp invite.
A quick reminder: World Peace said last summer, just days before agreeing to a deal with New York, that he wanted to go to China or play arena football. If New York wants him, the team could presumably step in before anything's official with Sichuan.
If he does join the Blue Whales, he'll almost certainly make more than the veteran minimum he'd likely command in the NBA, and that's before you take his marketing opportunities into consideration. This might actually be the best move for his career.
World Peace averaged career lows of 4.8 points and 2.0 rebounds for the Knicks last year, playing in just 29 games and struggling with injuries. He looks to be moving better now, though: