By Mehdi Bouneb

Here we are, another day closer to Lakers training camp 2015 in Hawaii. As fans wait for Lakers basketball to start rolling again, here is something for you to ponder on – Is Metta World Peace inching closer to a return with the franchise?

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According to Adrian Wojnarowski, of Yahoo Sports, it looks like it is a strong possibility:

World Peace last played in the NBA during the 2013/14 season. During his tenure with the New York Knicks, he averaged 4.8 points, two rebounds, and 0.8 steals in 13 minutes per game. After playing 29 games and getting waived by the Knicks, World Peace last played in China and Italy.

What would a return mean for the Lakers? World Peace would likely get the final roster spot and even though he will not bring much to the table offensively, it is his character and experience that will benefit the team.

During the 2014/15 season, the Lakers looked incredibly soft; with Bryant even going as far as comparing his teammates to the toilet paper brand ‘Charmin’:

It goes without saying that when you get compared to toilet paper in basketball, you know that can’t be good.

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Back in his prime, Metta was a defensive machine, and his strong-headed character turned him into the fierce competitor we once knew. Even Kobe Bryant stated that Metta was the one player he could rely on to show up night in and night out. Back when the Lakers amnestied Metta, Kobe shared his thoughts:

Would Kobe welcome back Metta with open arms? Only he himself knows.

Metta would probably get some playing time, but his main role would most likely be to act as a mentor to the young guns on the Lakers squad. He’s already been practicing with 2014 first round pick Julius Randle and was impressed by the rookie’s strength.

Another player who would greatly benefit from Metta’s signing is the Lakers’ 2015 second round pick Anthony Brown. They play the same position and the rookie’s learning curve could greatly accelerate thanks to Metta’s experience. Let us not forget that World Peace won the defensive player of the year award in 2004 – back when he was known as Ron Artest – so he knows a thing or two about defense.

Even though Metta would play a minor role during games, it will make practices surely more competitive with Metta bringing his energy and defensive tenacity to the court. Let’s just hope the Lakers can benefit from his presence and develop a toughness and grit we have not seen in the last couple seasons.

One thing is for sure; having Metta around in Los Angeles would surely prove to be entertaining. We are after all in the entertainment capital of the world!

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Mehdi Bouneb is fan of the Lakers, Dodgers, and NY Giants. He is also a contributing writer for CBS Local Sports and LA Sports Hub. Reach out to Mehdi on Twitter @mehdi_boun or email