The Detroit Pistons are reportedly determined to keep Kentavious Caldwell-Pope around, so much that they’d match any offer that he receives from other clubs.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 16, 2017
The news was first reported by Detroit Free Press writer Vince Ellis, who stated in his season review of the Pistons that several people with insider knowledge of the team alleged the team would match any offer.
Caldwell-Pope,24, is a pending restricted free-agent, allowing the Pistons to match any offer sheet the shooting guard receives. He was drafted by the Pistons out of Georgia in the 2013 NBA Draft with the No. 8 overall selection.
This past season, he averaged 13.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, starting in 75 of 76 games played. He’s appeared in 314 games with Detroit over his first four seasons, starting in all but 40 of them.
KCP did set a career high in three-point percentage this season, although it was only 35.0 percent, which is below league average. That ranked 41st among 51 players who took at least 350 threes, according to Basketball Reference.
WORTH THE PRICE?
It was reported this past October that Caldwell-Pope was reportedly asking for more than $20 million per season for his next contract, wanting to “ensure that no money is left on the table”. It’s understandable for a young player wanting to cash in, but unfortunately for him (and the Pistons), he hasn’t shown indications that he’d be worthy of such a deal with a career shooting percentage of just 40.5 (33.4 percent from downtown). However, he is regarded as the best defender on a team that ranked 7th in the NBA in points allowed per game this season.
He is eligible for the smallest maximum contract the team can offer, which constitutes 25 percent of the salary cap. But should the team undertake that risk?
Caldwell-Pope is allegedly on the radar of the Brooklyn Nets, who could offer him as much as $103 million spread over four years.
The Pistons already have plenty of money committed to underachieving players like Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, both of whom were the subject of trade rumors during the recently completed season. Should the team match an offer he receives, put them dangerously close to the luxury tax threshold.
It would also signal that they’d be willing to overlook his recent DUI arrest, which occured only hours after the team suffered a devastating one point loss to the Miami Heat in late March. Any punishment he faces from the league office would occur at the beginning of next season, since his offense took place late in the season.
The Pistons have some tough decisions looming, and should Caldwell-Pope receive an offer from another team, it would almost certainly be at the forefront of the club’s offseason moves.