After a one-year stint in the Los Angeles Lakers, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will once again test the free agency market in the upcoming offseason. With the Lakers’ plan to pursue two superstars this summer, Caldwell-Pope is unlikely to return and could sign elsewhere. Even if they decide to bring him back, the type of contract the veteran guard will demand could be too much for the Lakers to give up.
According to Lake Show Life, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be seeking a maximum contract when free agency hits in July. The Lakers may have enough salary cap space to give a maximum contract, but President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka are unlikely to make the same mistake as the former Lakers executives did in the past offseason. Caldwell-Pope is a good player but not as much as a difference-maker like LeBron James or Paul George.
If he couldn’t get what he wants in Los Angeles, Caldwell-Pope should start entertaining offers from other NBA teams. According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, the Chicago Bulls and the Phoenix Suns emerge as potential free agency destinations for the 25-year-old shooting guard. The Bulls need to boost their wing and defense in which KCP could immediately address. Meanwhile, the Suns are in need of shooting and a new backcourt partner for Devin Booker.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will undeniably be a great addition to either the Bulls or the Suns. However, it remains questionable if the two teams are willing to give a huge amount of money for a player of Caldwell-Pope’s caliber. He will enter the 2018 free agency with a five-year experience in the league, and the max contract he seeks will have a first-year salary of approximately $25 million.
There are only few NBA teams who will have enough salary cap space in the upcoming offseason, and most of them are saving money to pursue free agent superstars. If Caldwell-Pope will lower his demand, it will be easier for him to find a new team. The Lakers may also consider re-signing him if they fail to acquire their targets this summer. They could give the veteran shooting guard another one-year deal in order to maintain their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2019.