2018-19 Lakers Season Preview: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Primed For Big Year
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the summer of 2017, most assumed that restricted free agent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would wind up coming to terms on a new contrct with the Detroit Pistons. Instead, Detroit went a different direction, freeing up Caldwell-Pope to take a one-year deal with the Lakers.

SHOP NOW: CHECK OUT THE LATEST MERCH 🔥🔥🔥

With his next contract on the line, Caldwell-Pope turned in a season that was better than the narrative surrounding him would have you believe. After a brutal month of December in which personal issues off the court negatively impacted his play on it, perception of Caldwell-Pope soured.

However, Caldwell-Pope bounced back in a big way when the calendar turned to 2018. After shooting just 29 percent from three in December he pumped his average all the way up to 42 percent for the rest of the season.

If the Lakers believe that these numbers are indicative of Caldwell-Pope’s true abilities then that partially explains their decision to not target shooters in free agency.

Moreover, for the season, Caldwell-Pope was in the 87th percentile on spot-up opportunities, which he figures to get plenty of playing alongside LeBron James this season.

Caldwell-Pope wound up being the only Lakers free agent that remained with the team, signing a one-contract deal worth $12 million. If he can continue to shoot the way that he did during the second half of last season then he will easily be worth that contract and will put himself in excellent position to get a long-term deal in 2019 free agency.

However, before he can start feasting on the open looks generated by James, Caldwell-Pope will have to earn a starting role.

He was the obvious choice to start at shooting guard last season and has to be considered the favorite next seasons as well, but second-year guard Josh Hart will be pushing for the job as well after winning MVP of the Las Vegas Summer League.

You May Also Like

Lakers Podcast: L.A. Preparing To Make Big Moves With Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr. & Jordan Clarkson On Trading Block

The NBA trade deadline is swiftly approaching and the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly preparing for it by placing…

Lakers News Feed: Reasons For The Andrew Bogut Signing & Possible Brook Lopez Injury

Even with the NBA season almost upon us, the Los Angeles Lakers are still making moves….

Lakers Nation Podcast: Lou Williams and Larry Nance Jr. Excel In Loss To Suns

In this episode of the Lakers Nation Podcast we break down the Lakers’ 119-115 loss to the Phoenix Suns, which marks their fifth defeat in a row….

CourtCast: Lakers vs Celtics, D’Angelo Russell vs Isaiah Thomas, Value In 2017 NBA Draft

The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have one of the most historic rivalries of all time. With their first meeting of the 2016-2017 season looming, CourtCast by Lakers Nation breaks down both teams…