Metta World Peace's decision could become a factor in Dwight Howard's return. (Denise Truscello/Getty Images)
Metta World Peace wants to play with the Lakers next season, electing to opt-in on the final year of his contract, as first reported by Sam Amick of USA Today.
World Peace, 33, is in line to be paid $7.7 million for the 2013-14 season. The veteran small forward had the option to end the contract and become a free agent, but chose the security of another year in Los Angeles.
The Lakers still have the option to amnesty World Peace if they decide that moving his contract off the books will help them deal with an $80 million payroll and the NBA's luxury tax. World Peace's future with the Lakers could boil down to whether or not Dwight Howard decides to remain with the team. World Peace told a Houston radio audience last week that Howard "is not going to Houston."
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His offensive numbers improved dramatically -- he averaged 12.4 points per game -- under new coach Mike D'Antoni, despite undergoing surgery
to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.