The Los Angeles Lakers will have a completely new starting backcourt this upcoming season as D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young have been replaced by rookie Lonzo Ball and free agent signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
The pairing of Ball and Caldwell-Pope is a promising one as the two are seemingly an excellent fit together. Though they have yet to really get a chance to develop chemistry together, Caldwell-Pope is already excited about playing with the rookie.
Caldwell-Pope appeared on Uninterrupted’s Open Run podcast with Jesse Williams and Stefan Marolachakis and said he’s excited not only about Ball’s skillset, but how he affects the entire team:
“I’m looking forward to playing with him. I watched him in Summer League, how he plays, how he passes the ball, the way he sees the floor and stuff like that. I’m just looking forward to it […] I can just tell by watching how much fun [the Summer League team] was having, how the ball was moving, the bench getting into it. I can just see it from there how amazing he is and how great we’re gonna be this year.”
Ball’s impact was certainly felt during the Summer League as he won MVP in Las Vegas for his play and even when he wasn’t playing, his infectious passing style remained. Caldwell-Pope witnessed that and understands how that will help the Lakers this upcoming season.
Caldwell-Pope is the perfect backcourt partner for Ball as he will thrive both as a spot-up shooter and slasher on offense, while being an excellent defender who will defend the other team’s best guard.
The expectations on Ball are extremely high going into his rookie season, but so far he has seem unfazed by any of them. Because of that, a number of teammates are excited about playing with him, and Caldwell-Pope is chief among them.