The Los Angeles Lakers prioritized adding a shooting guard that can shoot and play defense this offseason in free agency, but it had to be on a one-year contract so they can maintain capspace for next offseason to pursue two max level players.
Because of that, the Lakers struck out on multiple free agents that they were interested in because other teams offered them multi-year deals.
They eventually got one free agent to take their money though, as they recently signed former Detroit Pistons guard Kentavius Caldwell-Pope to a one-year, $18 million contract.
The 24-year-old recently released a video introducing himself to the Lakers fanbase, stating how excited he is to join the Lakers historic franchise, via Uninterrupted:
“It’s a blessing and honor to play for the LA @Lakers.” — @CaldwellPope pic.twitter.com/3sdcXMc3Za
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) July 15, 2017
Caldwell-Pope seems to be a perfect fit with the Lakers, starting alongside rookie point guard Lonzo Ball. In 76 games last year with Detroit he averaged 13.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists, while shooting 35.0 percent from three-point range, which was a career-high.
The 2013 eighth overall pick out of Georgia is considered by many to be a premiere defender, with an ability to defend all guards, which will help out Ball tremendously as the Western Conference point guards can be tough for a rookie to defend on a nightly basis.
While Caldwell-Pope is playing one a one-year deal this season, signing him could help the Lakers chances of landing LeBron James next offseason, as they share the same agency and are close friends. That possibility is still a year away though, so the focus right now is on this season, as if he has a good year with the Lakers, Caldwell-Pope could be in for a big payday next offseason.