Lakers bringing back Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on a three-year contract
The Lakers continued to build an impressive roster to defend their NBA championship by reaching an agreement Saturday to re-sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a starting guard last season who contributed clutch play during the postseason.
Caldwell-Pope agreed to a three-year deal for $40 million, his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, told The Los Angeles Times.
The next important block for the Lakers’ foundation is to get Anthony Davis to sign a deal that many NBA executives believe is a forgone conclusion after the All-Star forward opted out of his contract that would have paid him $28.7 million next season.
Caldwell-Pope’s ability to defend and make three-pointers, something he did well for the Lakers during the season and in the playoffs, were two reasons why L.A. wanted the 6-foot-5 guard to return.
He was third on the team in scoring during the playoffs at 10.7 points per game, shooting 41.8% from the field and 37.8% from three-point range. He averaged 9.3 points during the season on 46.7% shooting, 38.5% from three-point range.
He’s also known for his durability. He played in 69 regular-season games, starting 26, and started all 21 of the Lakers’ playoff games, averaging 29 minutes per game.
A look at how the Lakers’ roster is shaping up during the start of free agency.
Caldwell-Pope opted out of the final year of his contract, which would have paid him $8.4 million, hoping for a bigger payday. The New York Knicks also showed interest in signing him.
The Lakers began this offseason process by acquiring point guard Dennis Schroder from the Oklahoma City Thunder for guard Danny Green and the draft rights to first-round pick Jaden McDaniels.
Harrell, the former backup center for the Clippers, was the NBA’s sixth man of the year and Schroder was the runner-up last season.
Free-agent forward Markieff Morris is interested in re-signing with the Lakers, which would give them another versatile player. The Lakers also can improve their roster by using the veteran‘s minimum exception to sign an experienced player to a short, inexpensive deal, and by making trades.
But the biggest order of business is to get Davis signed. Contracts can be signed starting at 9:01 a.m. PST Sunday.
Rajon Rondo took to Instagram on Saturday to thank the Lakers and their fans for supporting him in L.A. He’s now heading to Atlanta on a two-year contract..
According to people not authorized to speak publicly, Davis and Paul, who’s also his representative, informed Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manger Rob Pelinka that Davis wanted to see how the team would be put together before deciding the length of his contract.
He can sign a two-year contract for $68 million with an option to become a free agent after next season, which could align him with LeBron James’ free agency. The first year of that deal for Davis could be worth about $32.7 million.
Davis also could sign a three-year deal for $106 million with a player option after the second year, a four-year deal for $146.7 million or a five-year deal worth $189 million.
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