The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one-year deal worth $18 million. Kentavious spent the first four seasons of his career playing for the Detroit Pistons in mainly a starting role.
For the Lakers, adding Caldwell-Pope gives them another guard who can score and shoot the ball well from the perimeter. This past season with Detroit, he averaged 13.8 points while shooting over 35 percent from the three-point strike.
Whether he will be a guaranteed starter at the two-spot remains a question. Los Angeles still has Jordan Clarkson on the roster, and he is coming off a season in which he averaged 14.7 points a game while coming off the bench in 63 of the 82 games he played.
Like Clarkson, Pope has spent his first few seasons in the NBA playing for a team that lacked the talent and assets to be a playoff contender. This year should be much different for Pope after joining a Lakers squad that now has plenty of new young talent.
Since he has a little bit of experience behind him now, Kentavious should be able to help out young players like Lonzo Ball and Brandom Ingram, who appear to be the future of the Lakers franchise.
The Lakers’ president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson, seems to be highly confident in his new young core and has been actively involved since being hired for the position this year.
The team has not been able to land an all-star free agent as of yet this summer, but Magic has been exercising to use patience considering guys like Paul George, Lebron James, and Russell Westbrook are all free agents next season.
Signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to just a one-year deal gives the Lakers some flexibility for the future since they aren’t investing in him for the long-term.
Pope will likely have to prove himself a staple in the Lakers organization this season if he wants to remain with them for the future.
The Lakers have also reportedly been interested in free agent point guard Rajon Rondo this off-season as well. Pope and Rondo both had meetings with the team on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. Pope also met with the Nets recently but ultimately decided to join L.A. in the end.
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