The dollars and sense behind Lakers’ attempt to re-sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope beats Miami's Duncan Robinson for a layup during the Lakers' title-clinching win on Oct. 11, 2020.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope beats Miami’s Duncan Robinson for a layup during the Lakers’ title-clinching Game 6 win.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Both the Lakers and free-agent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who opted out of the final year of his contract, have interest in the veteran guard re-signing with the team.

No guarantee it gets done for a few reasons.

First, the New York Knicks also have interest in Caldwell-Pope, according to people not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Second, Caldwell-Pope is looking for a raise from the original deal that would have paid him $8.4 million next season.

Finally, after the Lakers agreed to give free-agent center Montrezl Harrell the full midlevel exception and free-agent guard Wesley Matthews the biannual exception when free agency opened Friday afternoon, they are limited in how much they can offer Caldwell-Pope.

The most the Lakers can offer Caldwell-Pope is about $12 million per season, but that could increase if they trade one of their players to a team with salary-cap space and don’t receive a player back.

According to Larry Coon, considered an expert on the NBA collective bargaining agreement, the Lakers can’t go above the hard salary cap of about $136.6 million, and that prohibits the Lakers from offering Caldwell-Pope more than $12 million despite holding his Larry Bird Rights.

Former Lakers guard Avery Bradley agrees to join the Miami Heat. Gordon Hayward is heading to Charlotte and Fred VanVleet will re-sign with Toronto.