FORMER NBA veteran star Metta World Peace is open to play in the PBA as an import.
The 6-foot-7 World Peace, currently playing for the Sichuan Blue Whales in the Chinese Basketball Association, has made it known through Manila-based player agent Sheryl Reyes that he would love to play for any PBA team when the pro league kicks off its Commissioner’s Cup on January 27.
“Metta is actually open to playing for a team that is willing to pursue him,” Reyes told Spin.ph on Thursday.
The former NBA Defensive Player of the Year currently owns averages of 19.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists for the Blue Whales, though his Chinese ballclub is unlikely to make the playoffs due to its woeful 4-15 win-loss record.
However, there will be a problem with World Peace's availability in the event a PBA signs him up.
The regular season of the CBA playoffs won't end until January 29 - two days after the start of the import-spiced Commissioner's Cup.
“His team’s last game will be January 29 so if somebody still shows interest in bringing him in, he’ll be ready,” said Reyes.
Barangay Ginebra, which recently bowed out of the playoffs after being ousted by Talk ‘N Text, 83-67 in their quarterfinal knockout duel, is rumored to be interested the 35-year-old former Los Angeles Laker.
Ginebra coach Jeffrey Cariaso said he has yet to give a careful thought on the team’s import, but admitted that the Gin Kings’ priority is tapping a reinforcement "who can defend."
“We’re allowed 6-9. I have given a little bit of thought (on the import) but obviously, he’ll be close to 6-9,” Cariaso said.
“One department I can say is, I’m looking for someone who can defend. He’s got to be able to guard imports, defend those guys, just in case our guys struggle,” he added.