After being renounced by the Pistons and becoming an unrestricted free agent last week, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope instantly became the most valuable free agent on the open market (restricted free agency is not an open market).
While the Nets decided to pass on Pope while waiting on the Wizards to match their $100 million offer for Otto Porter Jr. and taking on another bad contract for the next few years in DeMarre Carroll from Toronto, Pope lingered as a young asset on the market without a home.
Until now, Caldwell-Pope and the Lakers agreed to a one-year, $18 million contract for 2017-18.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 12, 2017
This is a great move for both parties involved. The Lakers get a really solid two-way player to help them improve this season (and maybe retain their 2018 pick, they give it to Boston if it is No. 2 to No. 5) and don’t commit to any money beyond this season as they prepare for the free agency bonanza of 2018. Caldwell-Pope gets to raise his profile around the league this season and has an opportunity to play well and cash in for a bigger, long-term contract next season.
It will be interesting to see if the Lakers attempt to retain him next summer with all of their impending free agency pursuits of Paul George, LeBron James and others.