Monday at 11:59 pm marked the deadline for the Detroit Pistons to sign both their shooting guards to contract extensions. That deadline came and went, and now both starter Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and reserve Reggie Bullock will become restricted free agents next off-season.
Pistons coach and President Stan Van Gundy told Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press before Monday’s deadline, “On those things, it’s gotta be something that both sides feel good about.”
With the jump that’s going to be coming with the NBA’s increased salary cap, there is going to be a lot for Caldwell-Pope to feel good about come summer time. Caldwell-Pope is just 23 years old, and is one of the best young perimeter defenders in the entire league. While his offensive game still needs work, and he needs to show the ability to be more consistent, those will be mere side notes come pay day.
“KCP helps us win games so would I like him to shoot the ball better? Yes, and so would he, but I’m not sitting around worrying about that,” Van Gundy said. “I don’t think that’s a real issue with our team. He’s gonna make shots as the year goes on, but he’s the guy who leads our defense.”
“He’s our most consistently high-energy player. We need him on the floor, and to me, shots going in for him is just a bonus.”
Don’t take any side’s non-urgency as a sign that this is the end for both Caldwell-Pope and Bullock. Because they’re restricted free agents, the Pistons have the option to match any offer that either would receive.
Obviously with Caldwell-Pope being younger and a better player, he’s the more coveted of the two, and with the way NBA teams are spending money, ‘KCP’ as the fans call him, could see himself get a contract that would pay him close to $20 million a year. It’s up to the Pistons to decide if he’s worth that much.