Early Wednesday morning, news broke that former Pistons shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had decided on his new destination: the Los Angeles Lakers.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 12, 2017
Caldwell-Pope, who’s fate with the Pistons was all but decided when the team recently acquired Avery Bradley from the Boston Celtics, will make $18 million over the oone-year term of his new contract with the Lakers. As things stand right now, the deal will make him the 11th highest paid shooting guard in the NBA, less than $1 million behind Klay Thompson.
He had the option of signing a one-year qualifying offer from the Pistons that would have been worth $4.9 million, but the team renounced his rights, which made him an unrestricted free agent.
Since being selected with the eighth pick of the 2013 draft, Caldwell-Pope has averaged 11.7 points per game, 1.6 assists per game, and three rebounds per game. He also chipped in defensively, with 1.2 steals per game. His best offensive season came in 2015-16 when he poured in 14.5 points per game for the Pistons. Last season with Detroit, he averaged 13.8 points per game, which is lower than his career average.
Shortly after the signing was announced, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst tweeted out that both sides get what they want out of the deal. Caldwell-Pope gets top money and is back on the market in just a year.
Caldwell-Pope agrees to 1-year, 18M deal w/LAL. Both sides get what they want; KCP gets top $, back to market in '18 https://t.co/KbCsd8Tr5L
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 12, 2017
The market for shooting guards in the 2018 free agent market is expected to be strong, and the salary cap is also expected to go back up after next season, which explains Caldwell-Pope’s desire to play the upcoming season under only a one-year pact.
Caldwell-Pope will miss the first two games of the upcoming season as a result of an arrest in March, which resulted in a charge of operating while intoxicated. After being pulled over for speeding, he failed a sobriety test with a .09 blood alcohol level.