Knicks Rumors: NY Interested in Lakers' Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in Free Agency

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2018

Los Angeles Lakers' Kentavious Caldwell-Pope dribbles the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

The New York Knicks are already thinking about potential options in free agency, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is reportedly one of them, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

An athletic wing is one of New York's biggest priorities for the summer, according to Bondy's sources, and Caldwell-Pope could fill that role as a talented two-way player with experience. The 24-year-old is averaging 13.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game this season with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Per Basketball Reference, he ranks second on his team with 1.5 defensive win shares to go with his career-high 1.7 steals per game.

This comes after four years with the Detroit Pistons, including three as a full-time starter. While he was likely hoping for a long-term contract last offseason, he ended up with just a one-year deal with the Lakers and needed to prove he could be an impact player.

His off-court problems may give some teams pause, however.

Caldwell-Pope spent 25 days in jail because of a probation violation, which prevented him from leaving the state and competing in select road games during that stretch. He was also suspended for the first two contests of the 2017-18 season.

Still, the Knicks clearly need a lot of help after struggling to a 21-26 record this season. The team is 3-8 so far in January.

Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee remain under contract through at least 2019-20, but Caldwell-Pope could provide extra depth on the wing as a scorer and primary defender as the squad tries to return to playoff contention.

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