Kentavious Caldwell-Pope May Get Same Deal as Ex-Nugget: Report

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Getty Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Keeping Kentavious Caldwell-Pope should be one of the biggest priorities of the Denver Nuggets. Since they will likely cross the NBA’s second tax apron if they keep him, that makes the matter a little more complicated.

Other factors could be at play, like the contract of former Nugget Bruce Brown. HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto revealed that there are some worries that Caldwell-Pope might get a contract similar to Brown if he hits the market.

“Heading into free agency, there’s also concern that guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could decline his $15.44 million player option, enter unrestricted free agency, and land a potential short-term offer for a higher salary annually comparable to Bruce Brown’s previous two-year, $45 million deal with Indiana,” Scotto wrote.

Brown’s deal also had a team option, which is why it appeals to free agents and teams. It’s a lot of money to offer, and it keeps them flexible. Caldwell-Pope brings two-way perimeter play on top of championship experience.

Losing Caldwell-Pope would be a tough blow for the Nuggets, who already proved they struggled after losing some of their depth with Brown’s and Jeff Green’s departures.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s Deadline

Caldwell-Pope has until June 29 to decide what he wants to do with his player option. While opting in would net him over $15 million, entering free agency could pave the way for him to make even more.

While he won’t make any All-Star teams in the near future, Caldwell-Pope has been a starter on two separate NBA title teams. He was the Los Angeles Lakers‘ starting shooting guard on their title team in 2020 as well. Doing so proves he has a track record of being a pivotal player on a team with title aspirations.

That resume could make him very appealing to a team that wants to win or take its first steps toward creating a winner. If he decides to go for more money elsewhere, that could prove problematic for the Nuggets.

In Denver’s case, replacing Caldwell-Pope would not be easy, given what he brings to the table. Not many NBA players can provide the perimeter defense and spacing that he does on a cheap contract. The Lakers thought they could replace his impact with veterans like Trevor Ariza after they traded him in 2021, only to learn that it was not a good idea.

The ramifications of the second tax apron are harsh, but the Nuggets don’t have better options

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Linked to Sixers: Report

Before Scotto’s report, Yahoo Sports! Jake Fischer reported that the Philadelphia 76ers could look into adding Caldwell-Pope. As Scotto reported, they may sign him to a deal similar to Brown;s.

“The Sixers, sources said, took note of Indiana’s two-year splurge for Bruce Brown that then became the biggest salary headed back to Toronto in exchange for Siakam. Veteran wings like Klay Thompson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would fall on the Sixers’ list of targets for similar one-plus-one contracts,” Fischer wrote in a May 23 story.

The Sixers have the cap room to add Caldwell-Pope straight up. However, with other stars like Paul George on the market, they’ll likely go after the bigger names first. If they strike out on them, that could be a problem for the Nuggets.

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