The NBA offseason is here and players are now on the prowl for new clubs. That list includes some Los Angeles Lakers players who opted out of their current deal. One of them is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a key figure in the Lakers NBA title conquest.
If one is to go by the numbers, Caldwell-Pope could be deemed foolish for passing up the $8.5 million salary he would make for the 2020-21 NBA season. But then again, KCP did more than what the statistics have to show.
In the regular NBA season, Caldwell-Pope averaged 9.3 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 25.5 minutes of action. He improved his point production in the playoffs to 10.7 points which may not be much in the eyes of basketball critics. However, the timeliness of his shots is something most have not taken into consideration. The 27-year-old bailed out the Lakers in crucial moments, hitting the big three-point shots that aided the Lakers in more than one game.
Though he is moving out, the Lakers could still re-sign KCP since they hold a Bird Rights on him. This means that Los Angeles can match any offer given to Caldwell-Pope for as long as it is reasonable. But that will depend on the fate of Anthony Davis.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is Klutch; there are other reasons the Lakers must re-sign him https://t.co/XpQFRJ7dBR — L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) October 16, 2020
Like Caldwell-Pope, Davis is opting out but re-signing with the Lakers. There is also no telling how much the 27-year-old center will be offered although most know it will be huge. Given that Davis and LeBron James comprise a large chunk of that budget, it will be interesting if Rob Pelinka will still have enough funds to keep the veteran guard.
One team likely to try and get him is the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks are looking for players to provide ample support to Trae Young and Caldwell-Pope could be that guy. They could offer him something huge, an amount that even the Lakers may not be able to match.
But other than the Hawks, Caldwell-Pope has drawn the attention of several other clubs. Though his numbers are not that high, most have forgotten as well that he was not among the players expected to drop huge numbers for an entire season.
KCP had his share of big games, particularly in the NBA playoffs. He saw extensive minutes, leading to many calling him the third superstar the Lakers needed. With James and Davis leading the way, KCP was the perfect compliment. But looking ahead, Caldwell-Pope could also be considering stepping out of their shadows to be a starter. He showed that before with the Detroit Pistons so there is no reason why he cannot do it again.