The #PayKCP movement had ended for the Pistons last week, so it was all a matter of seeing where the former Pistons shooting guard landed after that. It looks like it’ll be the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has reportedly agreed to a one-year, $18 million deal as reported by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has agreed to a one-year, $18 million deal with the Lakers, sources tell ESPN.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 12, 2017
He’ll form part of an exciting young group in LA along with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle. Hopefully he’ll be spared from interacting with LaVar Ball too much.
With the free agency market not being what most expected heading into the summer as last summer’s spending spree left cap space tight, the suitors for Caldwell-Pope had pretty much dried up. The Lakers were pretty much the final destination that made sense for KCP, so it’s good to see him at least get a fair deal as he places a bet on himself and an improved market next summer.
It also leaves open the possibility of wondering what might have been for the Pistons. They chose to move on when Caldwell-Pope didn’t agree to a five year, $80 million offer and Avery Bradley became available. But had they given KCP time to test the field, that offer might well have looked like the best out there. KCP would have had a choice - accept it or play for the qualifying offer.
Bradley should be a great replacement, but losing two starters and only getting one in return isn’t ideal. And if Bradley walks next summer as an unrestricted free agent while KCP puts together a full season like he played before his shoulder injury, that won’t be a great look for the Pistons front office.
Still, sometimes the team has to make tough choices and this is just one of them. Definitely wish KCP the best of luck in this next chapter of his career.