Kentavious Caldwell-Pope appears bound for the Lake Show.
Entering the offseason, it was believed the Detroit Pistons would re-sign the unrestricted free agent. However, when Gordon Hayward announced he’s joining the Boston Celtics, the team traded Avery Bradley to the Pistons, who subsequently pulled their qualifying offer to KCP.
By that point, most teams had already done much of their free-agent shopping. Committing to a one-year deal means Caldwell-Pope can hit the open market again next summer and have a better shot to sign a longer, more lucrative deal.
The 24-year-old averaged 13.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.2 steals while shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc last season in his fourth year in the Motor City. In the 2013 lottery pick, the Lakers netted one of the NBA’s premier two-way wings, while maintaining flexibility for the summer of Paul George.
With $ 16.5 million available in cap room, Los Angeles is expected to make a minor salary-shedding move. KCP represents the club’s first UFA signing this summer, and Magic Johnson may not be done.
In addition to Caldwell-Pope, Lakers brass reportedly also met with Rajon Rondo earlier Tuesday. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski noted that L.A. still wants to sign the veteran point guard to mentor rookie Lonzo Ball, and may do so with its $ 4.3-million exception.