Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has agreed to a one-year, $18 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, sources said.
NBA free agency Day 11: Rating moves by Lakers, Knicks
Kevin Pelton provides team-by-team analysis of every major and minor deal on Day 11, including the Lakers’ deal with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Every deal all 30 NBA teams can still make
How many teams still have max cap room? What kind of deals can contenders still make? We’re updating the need-to-know information throughout free agency as each deal comes in.
He is expected to have a significant role with the Lakers, who recruited him hard after he became an unrestricted free agent last week.
The deal will enable Caldwell-Pope to re-enter the market in 2018, when the salary cap is expected to rise and there will be a strong market for shooting guards.
Caldwell-Pope, 24, had the option of taking a $4.9 million one-year qualifying offer with the Detroit Pistons before they renounced his rights last week. This deal makes him one of the top 10 highest-paid shooting guards in the league.
It’s a coup for the Lakers, who made landing a difference-making player such as Caldwell-Pope a priority with their remaining cap space, while also preserving flexibility for next summer.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope projected $18M salary will fit into the Lakers remaining room. The Lakers had $16.5M in room and will likely need to make a roster move to open up additional cap space. Caldwell-Pope will be a unrestricted free agent in 2018 and will count $21.6M against the Lakers cap. Los Angeles has the $4.3M room mid-level exception available.
One remaining option for the team is free-agent point guard Rajon Rondo. Sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Rondo and the Lakers met Tuesday, and the team is still trying to find a way to sign him, even after its agreement with Caldwell-Pope.
Signing Rondo could fulfill the Lakers’ desire to acquire a point guard on a one-year deal. The team selected point guard Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NBA draft.
Caldwell-Pope and the Lakers also met earlier Tuesday. The eighth overall pick in the 2013 draft averaged 13.8 points and 3.3 rebounds last season with the Pistons. He is regarded as one of the league’s best two-way wing players.
Caldwell-Pope will miss the first two games of the 2017-18 season. The NBA suspended him following a March arrest in which he was pulled over for driving 45 mph in a 25 mph zone in Auburn Hills, Michigan. He was cited for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.