The Los Angeles Lakers patiently searched throughout the 2017 free agency class to find an addition that can make an impact on both ends of the floor. After letting the initial surge pass, Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson were able to sign guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one-year, $18 million deal.
Caldwell-Pope, after an impressive season with the Detroit Pistons, is set to take over as the starting shooting guard. While his defensive attributes were the icing on the cake, Caldwell-Pope has demonstrated time and time again how deadly of an offensive threat he can be.
He remained poised and humble during his introductory press conference with the Lakers, continually stating that he is eager to just get to work. The four-year player posted a video to Instagram, showing off some of his deadly three-point shooting, along with some quality footwork:
With the Lakers providing major additions to the roster, they enter the 2017-18 season with a renewed sense of optimism. While Lonzo Ball will guide the up-tempo offense, the additions of Caldwell-Pope and All-Star center Brook Lopez will provide a definite scoring improvement.
A key attribute the Lakers needed to address this offseason was three-point shooting, especially after the departures of Nick Young, Lou Williams and D’Angelo Russell. Caldwell-Pope is certainly a step in the right direction, after shooting a career-high 35 percent from three-point range last season. While Lopez and Ball will certainly help in spacing the floor, Caldwell-Pope is the immediate scoring option the Lakers need.
Caldwell-Pope stated that his primary focus was going to be on defense, buying into the hard-nosed theme that Johnson is trying to instill into this team. However, that also points to the fact that the 2013 draft pick has a polished offensive game. The 24-year-old averaged 13.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 2.5 assists in 33.3 minutes last year, while shooting 40 percent from the field.