The Lakers aren’t tanking any longer

The Lakers made a second big move in NBA free agency on Tuesday, reaching a 1-year deal with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for $18 million. KCP had struck out as a restricted free agent and been renounced by the Pistons; with no one willing to beat the 5-year, $80 million deal he’d turned down from Detroit over the long term, the two-way guard decided to re-earn that money on an annual basis. The idea for KCP is that he’ll have a strong 2017-18 and be well-positioned as an unrestricted free agent on July 1 to sign a long-term deal.

What’s the idea for the Lakers? They are done tanking, and not a moment too soon. L.A. doesn’t own its own 2018 first round draft pick — that’s going to the Sixers or Celtics — and the Lakers have a new regime that wants to wash the bad taste of the past several years out of fans’ mouths. KCP is a better two-guard than Jordan Clarkson or any other option the Lakers have, so this should help them actually be better.

It also preserves that all-important salary cap space for 2018, for whence the Lakers have dreams of Russell Westbrook and Paul George and hell maybe LeBron James or DeMarcus Cousins. Finding a good, young player who fits the growth

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