It didn’t take long for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to find a new team. After the Detroit Pistons had renounced his restricted free agent status, Caldwell-Pope signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s a move that might pay off well for the 24-year-old, as he’s now the team’s best scoring option.
With Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and others still getting their feet wet in L.A., Caldwell-Pope might evolve into the Lakers top option. Already slated to be the starting shooting guard, he’s a lock to improve on last season’s numbers with Detroit.
Averaging 13.8 points per game with the Pistons, KCP will look to improve upon those numbers this season. During the 2016-17 campaign, Caldwell-Pope scored 20 or more points 20 times, so he’s got the scoring touch.
One thing Caldwell-Pope will give the Lakers is three-point shooting. Last season, KCP took 5.8 three pointers a game. Although, he’s not the most effective shooter. While he took 776 jump shots last season, Caldwell-Pope only made 280. This gives him a 36.1 shooting percentage. He’s going to need to improve in that area.
Kenatvious Caldwell-Pope is an improving player on all ends of the court. Yes, his shooting isn’t great, but it has improved mightily over the last few seasons, especially the three-point shot. KCP is also a quality defender and can step up his game when needed.
How does the Caldwell-Pope move affect the Lakers? With D’Angelo Russell now in Brooklyn, the Lakers needed to find another scoring option. While the team does have Brook Lopez, Julius Randle, Lonzo Ball, and Jordan Clarkson, it will be the duo of Ingram and KCP shouldering the scoring load.
Second-year forward, Brandon Ingram, looks to be a future star in the NBA, but that potential might not be seen this upcoming season. This signals big things for Caldwell-Pope, as he’s going to be looked at as the primary option in the Lakers in the event Ingram isn’t ready to take over.
Without question, Ingram is the Lakers future. It’s tough to say whether KCP is a stopgap, or if Magic Johnson views him as a possible option for years to come. He’s going to get his chances to impress, as there aren’t many others on the Lakers that look ready to overtake him.
The Lakers are looking to build a dynasty. Caldwell-Pope could be a part of the team’s future with a solid 2017-18 campaign. While on a one-year deal, he still could re-sign with the team next off-season. It’s unclear as to what team’s would be willing to pay KCP, but a breakout year could result in a massive payday.
Los Angeles got Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at a bargain, next season they might not be so lucky.