Today, the #PayKCP movement officially ended, with the Pistons closing up their checkbook and renouncing their rights to him after shrewdly dealing Marcus Morris for Avery Bradley and a second round pick.
It was a whirlwind of a morning, Woj bombs and all. While Pistons fans are excited and skeptical of where the team heads next, we at Detroit Bad Boys would be remiss to not give Kentavious Caldwell-Pope the proper send off he deserves.
KCP was the type of player Detroit fans love. He was never loud or boisterous. Never pouty or moping. You watched him bust his ass on the court for 48 minutes and he would barely crack a smile. The last couple of years, that changed a bit - money signs after three pointers and all- but we had all gotten to know each other by then so a little swag is appreciated.
As one of only two Pistons left from the Joe Dumars era (Andre Drummond being the other), KCP came to the Pistons organization during a unique and transformative time. He was never drafted to save the franchise as a superstar. He was drafted for his defense and three point range, his consistency needed some work but he would be a solid rotational piece. A scouting report that pretty much still rings true today.
He was a lightning rod for Pistons twitter debate most of the year. The #PayKCP movement gaining more steam with game winning buckets and defensive clinic. The reality is that this movement was predicated on the Pistons not having options. It was a binary proposal; KCP, yes or no. And in that case, he was certainly the better option over the terrifying unknown. Jeff Bower and Stan Van Gundy saw beyond this, adding a new option that gave them the ultimate negotiation leverage by not being afraid to walk away, which is exactly what they did. And this is why bloggers don’t run NBA franchises.
I admittedly was a full Pay KCP supporter. But as we hit free agency and things slowly but surely started moving in a new direction (first with the Galloway signing, then Moreland, and now today) I made peace with it. Like I said before, his scouting report as a rookie is largely the exact same four years later. And maybe that’s why the organization is moving on. There is only so much room for stagnation in today’s NBA. You either get pieces that make you better or get a hell of a lot worse, and it better be as fast as possible before the contracts are up. This is a fact we should all keep in mind while people continue to debate player loyalty.
I genuinely hope this comes back to bite the Pistons (ok, but not like TOO much) because it will mean KCP goes on to become the player a lot of us at DBB and Pistons Twitter thought he could be. It’s jarring to think of that not being in a Pistons uniform but the Pistons needed an out, and they got a pretty damn good one.
KCP was a consummate professional and I could always count on him for some tee’s for threes goodness at the Palace. Wherever he ends up, I speak for all of DBB when I say we wish him nothing but the best and that he hopefully gets the money his three point celebration calls for.
Cue up the Sarah Mclachlan folks, we’re hitting memory lane.
And perhaps the number one KCP highlight for just how loud the Palace got.
Thank you KCP. I was at the palace and saw you dunking on LeBron. Great times. pic.twitter.com/Jjc9A9m09q— NBA Bulletin (@TheNBABulletin) July 7, 2017
Thanks again KCP, you will be missed.