Despite struggling to start the year, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope closed out the season for the Lakers as a lights out three point shooter. An established “3 and D” shooting guard, KCP is a player built for the modern NBA. The Lakers would love to bring him back on a reasonable deal after paying him well above market value on consecutive one-year contracts.
However, KCP’s skillset is one that will likely be coveted by a number of teams and if the Lakers land a max free agent, the pay cut he would have to take might simply be too steep to keep him around any longer.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Free Agency: Lakers Return Among Best Fits
The Lakers need shooting and defense. KCP possesses both the ability to shoot the basketball and play quality defense. While a bit overhyped as a defender, KCP does a good job at staying in front of his man for the most part and has active hands without racking up too many fouls.
As mentioned above, his shooting progressed as the season went on and he actually ended the year shooting the ball at an extremely respectable clip. His percentage on the year isn’t indicative of his ability as a shooter.
With all that said, KCP should likely command more than the room exception – which if things go according to plan for the Lakers, is the most they’ll be able to offer. Unless KCP wants to take a one-year deal and chase a ring, he might be jumping ship to the highest bidder.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Free Agency: Warriors Interested in KCP
With the injury to Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant leaving for the Brooklyn Nets, the Warriors desperately need another outside shooter to place next to Curry while Klay works his way back. KCP is essentially a watered down version of Klay in that he doesn’t shoot as well or defend as well but still does both relatively well.
The Warriors should be able to offer the mid-level exception and pay Caldwell-Pope considerably more than the Lakers, making them a very appealing destination. The Warriors should still be a playoff contender in the West and with Klay expected to be back by the end of the year, could still be primed for a decent playoff run.