Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said today the decision to amnesty Metta World Peace was purely financial and he wanted to keep the defensive small forward from Queensbridge.

The Knicks have targeted World Peace, who has to clear through amnesty waivers for the Knicks to have a shot at him. The 48-hour process began tonight at 5 p.m. as 11 under-the-cap teams are allowed to make bids.

“Obviously it’s a byproduct of the CBA,’’ D’Antoni told The Post today at the Las Vegas summer league at UNLV. “As a person and player, I couldn’t find anyone better. He’s great. I enjoyed coaching him. I hope he finds something great. He deserves it. It’s not the coaches. It’s management. They have to manage the cap.’’

D’Antoni, the ex-Knicks pilot, coached World Peace for one season. The Lakers, gearing for a 2014 free-agent windfall, saved $15M in luxury taxes by saying goodbye to Peace.

“He averaged 14 points,’’ D’Antoni said. “He can play. He came back from an injury (meniscus) in 10 days that no human can do and he shouldn’t have. He wanted to help the team.’’

The Lakers coach praised Glen Grunwald’s decision to trade for Italian center Andrea Bargnani, whom D’Antoni had tried to acquire when he was with the Knicks.