NBA Rumors: OKC Thunder Could Target Kentavious Caldwell-Pope In 2020 Free Agency, ‘Bleacher Report’ Suggests

When they parted ways with Russell Westbrook and Paul George last summer, the initial belief around the league was that the Oklahoma City Thunder would be trading their remaining veterans next and undergoing a full-scale rebuild. However, the Thunder surprisingly chose to remain competitive, and as of now are in the playoff race in the deep Western Conference. If they want to keep taking the same route, the Thunder may consider adding quality veterans that could help them make a deep playoff run in the 2020-21 NBA season.

According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, one of the players that the Thunder could target in this year’s free agency is veteran shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of the Los Angeles Lakers.

“Loading up on wings should be the Thunder’s focus if they’re keeping the nucleus intact. Their current perimeter carousel wants for spacing even on its best day. Caldwell-Pope is undersized for a 3, but he injects more outside shot-making into the equation. He’s burying 39.4 percent of his threes on the season, and he’ll add a smidgen of off-the-dribble creation to the wing spots, albeit not in the form of (efficient) off-the-bounce treys.”

Caldwell-Pope may not be an All-Star, but he would still be a good addition to the Thunder, giving them an upgrade in their wing. The potential arrival of Caldwell-Pope in Oklahoma City would boost the Thunder’s performance on both ends of the floor. Aside from being a great perimeter defender, Caldwell-Pope is also a very reliable three-point shooter who can excel on the court with or without the ball in his hands.

This season, the 27-year-old shooting guard is averaging 9.5 points on 47.2 percent shooting from the field and 39.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Though he isn’t capable of making them an instant title contender, adding Caldwell-Pope to the core of Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and Steven Adams could make the Thunder a tougher team to beat in a best-of-seven series.

However, convincing Caldwell-Pope to leave the Lakers for the Thunder in free agency won’t be easy. For Caldwell-Pope to throw away the opportunity of winning an NBA championship title alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis this summer, it may require interested teams to make an offer that he couldn’t resist. As Favale revealed, the Thunder could only offer Caldwell-Pope the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception in the 2020 offseason, and they could only use it in full if Gallinari’s next contract doesn’t put them close to the luxury-tax line.

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