Report: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lakers Agree to 1-Year, $12 Million Contract

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2018

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Denver. The Nuggets won 115-100. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly agreed to a free-agent deal to retain shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on Sunday, according to ESPN's Chris Haynes.

Sam Amick of USA Today reported that the one-year contract will pay KCP $12 million.

Reports of Caldwell-Pope re-signing with the Lakers came shortly after Klutch Sports Group announced that LeBron James signed a four-year, $154 million deal with L.A.

Caldwell-Pope is also a Klutch Sports Group client.

Caldwell-Pope signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers last July after spending the first four seasons of his NBA career with the Detroit Pistons.

The 25-year-old Georgia native averaged 13.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals across 74 appearances during the 2017-18 campaign. He missed time while serving 25-day jail sentence for a probation violation, which included a work-release program but prevented him from traveling out of state.

"It was difficult," Caldwell-Pope told reporters after his release. "My family's all I got out here. My teammates is part of my family as well. It was difficult just not being with them and my family. It just felt like I let them down. Learning from this mistake and moving forward."

On the floor, the eighth overall pick in the 2013 draft has emerged as a reliable three-and-D contributor.

Caldwell-Pope shot a career-best 38.3 percent from beyond the arc with the Lakers last season. At the other end of the floor, he ranks 16th among all NBA guards in defensive win shares since his debut campaign in 2013-14, per Basketball Reference.

Although he hasn't quite developed into the superstar the Pistons may have expected when they selected him inside the top 10, he's a solid rotational piece. L.A. decided to keep him in the mix as it looks to turn a corner in its extended rebuilding efforts.

His role will be dependent on the team's other offseason moves. For now, he may be in line to back up Brandon Ingram at shooting guard with LeBron at small forward.

Also, if the Lakers manage to strike a deal with the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard, Caldwell-Pope could act as roster insurance provided L.A. has to move some combination of Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma.

Regardless of whether Caldwell-Pope starts or comes off the bench next season, he should be a good fit alongside James since he can make opposing defenses play by knocking down the open shots LeBron creates.

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