Kentavious Caldwell-Pope reaches deal with Lakers

A bit of kismet got the Lakers exactly what they were looking for in this year’s free agency.

Late Tuesday night, they agreed to a one-year deal worth $18 million with shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, according to several people who were not authorized to speak publicly. Caldwell-Pope excited the Lakers because of his strong defense and shooting.

Caldwell-Pope began free agency as a restricted free agent, but the Detroit Pistons renounced his rights on Thursday, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Because of the timing — free agency was already into a sixth day — few teams had the salary-cap space to sign Caldwell-Pope to a lucrative multiyear deal. The Lakers had committed themselves to offering only one-year deals this year, but to compensate they were offering the remainder or most of their salary-cap space for those deals.

Rajon Rondo, who is still part of the Lakers’ conversation. Rondo would offer a veteran presence to a roster that is filled mostly with players under the age of 25. Rondo garnered praised for the way he worked with the young players on the Chicago Bulls last season.

The deal with Caldwell-Pope will bring the Lakers right up to the salary cap, and that will give them a $4.3-million salary-cap exception that

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