One of the biggest dominoes for the Los Angeles Lakers has fallen. The Lakers are reportedly bringing back Kentavious Caldwell-Pope after the two sides came to a deal Saturday night, according to Shams Charania and The Athletic. The Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks were reportedly interested in his services before the announcement.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 22, 2020
The Lakers are signing Caldwell-Pope, fresh off a huge postseason performance in his third season with the team, as he will be given a three-year, $40 million deal. Charania also reports that the final year will be a partially guaranteed year. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, KCP is only guaranteed $4.88 million in the final year of his deal. His starting salary for this season will be $12 million.
The veteran came to the Lakers in the midst of their rebuild during the 2017-18 NBA season. He was “manna from Heaven” as described by Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka.
It’s likely that he will return to the Lakers as a full-time starter. The loss of both Danny Green and Avery Bradley means we will see the veteran’s role increase. He spent much of last season rotating between the starting lineup and as a reserve.
KCP had a nice NBA Finals debut averaging 12.8 points per game while hounding the Miami Heat shooters. Overall, he averaged 9.3 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game while shooting 38.5% from three on 3.5 attempts per game. For most of the season, and definitely in the playoffs, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was arguably the Lakers’ third best player behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He was definitely the most consistent behind those three, having his best season in a Lakers uniform at exactly the best time for the Lakers, and for himself as he receives a nice payday.