Before signing with the Los Angeles Lakers this past offseason, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope spent the first four years of his career with the Detroit Pistons. He was the organization’s eighth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Originally a restricted free agent, the Pistons withdrew their qualifying offer to Caldwell-Pope after trading for Avery Bradley. The decision made him an unrestricted free agent, and the Lakers quickly pounced, signing him to a one-year, $18 million deal.
On Monday, the Lakers end their road trip with their lone visit to Detroit to play the Pistons. It’s a game Caldwell-Pope said he’s looking forward to, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I’m feeling excited. I haven’t gotten a chance to see the new arena. I’ll get to see my old friends and stuff. It’s going to be an exciting game.”
Of course, any time someone returns to the place they used to play there is usually some sort of reaction from the fans, whether positive or negative. Caldwell-Pope admitted that he doesn’t know what to expect:
“I don’t know. I’ve been having that thought in my head since I knew I was going back. I don’t know. We’ll see when we get there. … I hope so, but we’ll see.”
Not only does this game represent a return for Caldwell-Pope, but also rookie Kyle Kuzma who was born and raised in Flint, Mich. It will be interesting to see how the crowd reacts to both as they will have plenty of familiar faces in attendance.
Caldwell-Pope has been one of the Lakers’ best players ever since getting past his legal issues earlier this season. Since the All-Star break he is averaging 16.3 points and 7.1 rebounds while shooting an unreal 49 percent from 3-point range.
The Lakers will undoubtedly be looking for Caldwell-Pope to continue his level of play in his return to Detroit, regardless of whether the crowd supports him or not.
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