As always seems to be the case, the Los Angeles Lakers have been mentioned in a number of trade rumors. Whether it is for a potential star like Bradley Beal or a role player like Trevor Ariza, the one constant in the speculation seems to be Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is involved.
Outside of the young core, Caldwell-Pope is the best trade chip the Lakers have. His $12 million contract is big enough that it can be included in most trades, and it is only a one-year deal so it will expire at the end of the season and not destroy a team’s salary cap.
Not to mention he provides a team with a solid shooter and defender. Many players would be bothered by consistently hearing that they might be traded once eligible, but Caldwell-Pope isn’t one of those.
“No. I’m just focused on [teammates]. I’m playing here now,” Caldwell-Pope said following the Lakers’ 108-105 victory over the Miami Heat. He finished with 11 points in the victory, hitting three shots from beyond the arc.
Even though he isn’t focused on it, Caldwell-Pope invariably has increased his trade value recently. The victory over the Heat marked a fourth consecutive game scoring in double-figures and sixth in the last seven contests. Caldwell-Pope has also hit multiple three-pointers in five of those games.
It is the sign of a true professional that Caldwell-Pope isn’t affected by these rumors. For the time being he is a Laker and will do everything to help them win. Though, once Dec. 15 hits and he is eligible to be traded, anything is possible.
And thanks to a little-known rule, Caldwell-Pope has veto power on any possible trade. But instead of that possibly serving as a deterrent, Caldwell-Pope and his representatives reportedly have explored potential deals.