Free agency continues to have a major impact across the NBA with major deals causing other moves to be necessary that were originally unexpected. The latest ripple effect comes from Gordon Hayward’s agreement to a max contract with the Boston Celtics.
In order to fit Hayward’s max deal into their salary cap the Celtics had to deal someone and that turned out to be Avery Bradley, who they sent to the Pistons. With a new shooting guard in place, the Pistons have now decided to renounced Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Before he was dealt, the Los Angeles Lakers tried aggressively to acquire Bradley in a deal, and now with Caldwell-Pope available, the Lakers are said to have significant interest in pursuing him via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Sources: If Caldwell-Pope's willing to do a one-year balloon deal, the Los Angeles Lakers have significant interest in pursuing him.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 7, 2017
The Lakers are obviously still looking to upgrade the shooting guard position. As a restricted free agent Caldwell-Pope wouldn’t be an option, but now that he’s unrestricted it makes perfect sense for the Lakers to try and obtain him. It still seems unlikely to happen, however.
At only 24 years old, a solid shooter and defender, and plenty more room to grow, Caldwell-Pope will be pursued by a number of teams with cap space. And unlike the Lakers, those teams will be willing to offer him a multi-year deal.
A team like the Brooklyn Nets will be a prime contender to give Caldwell-Pope a massive long-term deal, and perhaps even a max contract, assuming the Wizards match Otto Porter’s offer sheet.
Perhaps Caldwell-Pope is willing to take on the one-year deal and re-enter free agency next season, but the Lakers will have to convince him to do so. If they are unable to, their attentions will likely turn back to the likes of Rajon Rondo and Rodney Stuckey.