The Los Angeles Lakers made their first move of free agency on Tuesday night agreeing to a one-year, $18 million deal with former Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has agreed to a one-year, $18 million deal with the Lakers, sources tell ESPN.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 12, 2017
This all comes a mere few hours after the team had reportedly spoken to Caldwell-Pope. Los Angeles had increased their push for the 24-year-old after the Pistons made him an unrestricted free agent a few days ago following the acquisition of Avery Bradley from the Boston Celtics. There had also been significant interest from several other teams across the league.
Through his first four years in the league, Caldwell-Pope has developed into an impact player on both ends of the floor. He is also coming off one of his most productive campaigns where he averaged he averaged 13.8 points on a career-high 35 percent shooting from 3-point range.
His former Pistons’ teammate Reggie Jackson took to Twitter on Tuesday night to congratulate Caldwell-Pope.
— Reggie Jackson (@Reggie_Jackson) July 12, 2017
The former first-round pick will likely assume the starting shooting guard position alongside rookie point guard Lonzo Ball next season. His addition fits right into the Lakers’ offseason plans of adding a veteran guard on a one-year deal while allowing them to keep their financial flexibility open for next summer.
Los Angeles is also reportedly still hoping to sign former All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to a one-year deal by using their $4.3 million room exception that is provided to teams with salary-cap space as an additional spending asset.
Sources: Despite committing $18M for Caldwell-Pope, Lakers still trying to find a way to sign Rondo. Lakers have a $4.3M exception to use. https://t.co/4tGvW70sro
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 12, 2017
Rondo would add another intriguing dynamic to the team by providing them with a proven point guard that can help mentor Ball and give more stability to the backcourt.