After meeting with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on Tuesday morning, the Los Angeles Lakers and the 24-year old guard agreed to a one-year deal for $18 million.
Caldwell-Pope is coming off a season in which he averaged 13.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 35 percent from three. His largest contributions to the Lakers, though, will be defensive as he will step in and immediately be the team’s best perimeter defender.
Going into the season, the Lakers will likely starting Caldwell-Pope on the perimeter alongside Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, giving the Lakers a young trio heading into the season.
It’s worth noting, though, that the Lakers do not appear to have enough cap space given the reported figure. The Lakers are sitting at roughly $17 million in cap space and Caldwell-Pope is coming in at just over that.
There are a myriad of ways the Lakers could clear cap space. Young players like Ivica Zubac, Larry Nance newly-drafted players Kyle Kouzma and Josh Hart all come in around the range of money the Lakers would need to clear. There also remains the possibility the Lakers could look to move Jordan Clarkson’s contract, which takes up a large chunk of cap space.
Either way, the Lakers addressed a large area of concern at the two-guard spot with one of the top young free agents on the market and appear to be capping off a strong off-season in a big way.