The Los Angeles Lakers were fortunate to sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope this offseason. The former Detroit Pistons guard was a hot commodity on the market but as teams used up cap space and long-term options dwindled, KCP’s best offer came via a one-year deal from the Lakers.
On Sunday, Caldwell-Pope made his debut for the Lakers, having served the final two games of a DUI-caused suspension from last season to start this year. The shooting guard did not disappoint.
KCP seemed to fit into the rotation seamlessly, giving the Lakers several valuable skills they desperately needed. He played strong perimeter defense and shot the ball well, helping out his younger teammates on both ends of the court.
All-in-all, it was a promising display from Caldwell-Pope who finished the night with 20 points (second to Jordan Clarkson and tied with Kyle Kuzma) on a hyper-efficient 7-11 shooting, including 2-4 from three. KCP added two steals and one block, showcasing the defense that made him a prime target for LAL.
Caldwell-Pope’s efforts were not enough to make up for a struggling starting unit (he was -19 on the night), nor were they enough to finish off the Lakers’ furious comeback in the fourth quarter. Nevertheless, it was a promising start to the season for KCP as he showed why the Lakers signed him in the first place.
Take a look at some highlights from KCP’s debut: