Los Angeles Lakers executive vice president and general manager Rob Pelinka officially announced the team re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a three-year contract. The deal is reported to be for $40 million, although the third year is only partially guaranteed.
This is the most long-term security that Caldwell-Pope has had with the Lakers since he first signed a one-year, $18 million contract with them before the 2017-18 season. That got the Lakers’ relationship with Rich Paul and Klutch Sports started, which has led to healthy partnerships with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, resulting in an NBA Championship this past season.
Caldwell-Pope, who is the longest-tenured Laker along with Kyle Kuzma as they get set to enter their fourth seasons with the team, was a big part of the championship roster last season. He averaged 9.3 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three-point range in 69 regular-season games (26 starts).
After Avery Bradley decided to opt out instead of heading to the Orlando bubble due to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, Caldwell-Pope took over as a full-time starter and hit big shots during the Lakers’ postseason run while also playing quality perimeter defense.
In 21 postseason games, Caldwell-Pope averaged 10.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting 41.8 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from three.
It remains to be seen if Caldwell-Pope will remain in the starting lineup or go back to the bench this upcoming season, but there is no doubt that he will once again be a key contributor in the Lakers’ title defense.
Lakers roster undergoes some changes
While the Lakers were able to retain Caldwell-Pope, the same cannot be said for some of their key players from last season such as Danny Green, Dwight Howard and Bradley.
Pelinka did a solid job of improving the roster though with additions such as Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Matthews and Marc Gasol.
The offseason isn’t quite done yet, but the Lakers’ 2020-21 roster is definitely taking shape with the start of training camp just around the corner in December.
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